Self-Pity & Sexual Immorality

Posted on April 12, 2013 · Posted in Sanctification, Wisdom

A toddler sulks because she can’t play when it is time for a nap. A nine-year-old feels deprived because he has to share the video game console with his little brother.  A young teenager thinks he is an outcast because no one who is “cool” ever talks to him. All three of these children are candidates for sexual immorality and perversion.  You might think, how did you make that connection? Good question. Here is the why behind this thinking.

Sexual immorality is rooted in selfishness. The lusts of the flesh say that a person should be able have what they want or desire. There is cultural outrage that anyone, especially God, would set boundaries on sexual conduct. The core issue is discontent, self-pity, greed. Simply put sexual immorality is born of the notion that one is not getting what they deserve. Paul makes this clear in Ephesians 5:3-5, where he says that the sexually immoral culture in which the Ephesian Christians lived was driven by greed and lack of gratitude. He says that greed, which is blatant sell-interest, has no part in Christ’s kingdom.

This brings us to self-pity; I don’t have what I think I deserve. If this attitude is not challenged and defeated with gospel clarity it will grow and fester. At some point self-pity leads to action – ugly action. Sulking leads to brooding. Feeling deprived leads to hostility. Feeling cut off leads to finding identity in all the wrong places. 

It is important to have biblical vision to see where sins lead. It may not seem obvious that a sulking, whiny toddler is headed for sexual perversion. However, it is important to remember the first murder came from a heart and countenance that was downcast. A brooding child is not simply going through a phase. He is contemplating the gateway to hell.

Ask God for courage to connect the dots. Self-pity, in all of its forms, leads to an ugly destination. The best response is to be conscious of the goodness and glory of God. Holiness, contentment, and gratitude are the most powerful weapons to attack self-pity.  Show your kids the joy of the Lord. 

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.