Self-pity is an easy trap to fall into. Negative emotions, however, are rarely profitable. Yes, we need to acknowledge our own pain; otherwise we are not being authentic. The problem comes when we feel so sorry for ourselves that we don’t do anything to get out of the rut. One of the best forms of “therapy” for changing our attitudes is to turn our attention toward others.
Jesus said it best when he said: “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” (Luke 6:31 NIV). If you have had someone help you through a low point in life, you know how much this verse means. One thing you can do during the Christmas season is to look for opportunities to help others in need. Your own difficulties don’t prohibit you from being able to contribute to others. In fact, when you help those in need, you often see your own problems in a more appropriate light. You begin to realize that, while things may be bad, they could be worse. You begin to see how much you have been blessed and how much you have to be thankful for.
Following this advice can be very difficult, depending on your circumstances. If you don’t think you can do this alone, find someone to partner with you in helping others. Contact some local charities to find out what they need. While you may not have much money, many places are looking for volunteers to just donate some of their time.
Helping others won’t take away your pain, and it won’t change your circumstances. It will, however, affect your perspective. It will help you see that there truly are things for which you can be thankful. It will help you see that you have a lot to offer to others. It will help you see that living out God’s will in your life is the best place you can possibly be.
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:30–32 NIV)