So, I am sure that no one reading this post has ever in their entire life felt sorry for themselves, or have felt down on themselves. . . . *awkward silence* This post is for those people as well as people such as myself, who honestly can say, yes, I most definitely have wallowed in a pity party at one time or another!
Unfortunately, this morning I already had a small one. Not a major pity party, mind you. A small one. There is a difference, right? Umm . . . yeah. I am being painfully honest, because no one likes to think they are full of themselves, but even someone with the best intentions slips up sometimes. So I was feeling down on myself and sorry for myself and then caught myself feeling all those ugly little thoughts; thoughts that creep into your mind like grease ants creep into your kitchen overnight, when you aren't there to smoosh the little buggers; and then you come into your sunny kitchen the next morning to find you have been most distastefully invaded by hundreds of the creeping little pests! You know what I'm talking about, don't you? Yes, well, I thought it was a cool analogy. At least, for my own benefit. Because today, this very morning, I realized that my pity party thoughts, or my grumpy thoughts, or my too-hard-on-myself and not-loving-myself-the-right-way thoughts are just like those silent but pesky little ants.
So, now that I've compared pesky thoughts to pesky little grease ants, you might be thinking, "Okay, so, what am I to do with those pesky little thoughts if they are truly so bad for me?" And here is what I would say in response. Set traps. You know those ant traps you can buy that have the clear, sticky fluid that looks fairly innocuous but actually contains borax, which to the little ants is quite deadly? Yes, well, I see preparing to ward off pesky thoughts a similar process to warding off pesky ants. When dealing with ants, we set the traps before we go to bed, so that when we are sound asleep and unaware of the silent but destructive ants creeping into our kitchen, the traps are working even more silently on our behalf, right?
Well, set the traps in your mind. There are a couple of ways to do this. A good trap is one that is seemingly innocent (innocuous), but truly cunning and dangerous in its own right. (Matthew 10:16) A good trap is reinforced, anything but flimsy because it has to hold its ground though the ants are creeping all over around and inside of it and the outcome looks grim. (Ephesians 6:10-13) A good trap keep sentinel night and day, it never "takes a break" or slacks off even for a moment. (I Peter 5:8) And finally, a good trap gets the job done: if you have a good trap, there won't be an ant left standing in your kitchen, they will all leave and/or die near the trap. (James 4:7) And if it's a truly above-average trap, there won't be ants left alive even in the nest, because the fleeing ants will take home the poison to the nest and the ant population will be annihilated. (Micah 5:9)
Set those traps with the Word. Set them with the thoughts that you know line up with what God would say about you, your thought life, your feelings about yourself. Don't let those pesky "ants" -- self-pity, self-doubt, feeling down, feeling alone, feeling rejected -- take up residence in the kitchen of your mind, or the house of your heart. Because you know the thing about ants? Once they take residence in your kitchen, it's only a matter of time before they've overcome your entire house.