I met my best friend at a Beth Moore Bible study in 1999. We were the only two Cuban chicks in the group. We both loved Jesus, chick flicks, and chocolate. Soon, we were spending hours on the phone trying to solve the world’s problems as we vented in Spanglish.
When you are true-blue friends, you tend to mimic each other’s vocabulary and finish each others sentences. Barby and I spoke the same fast-talk from day one, but there is one word that I’ve picked up from her.
My friend has the gift of mercy, so almost on a weekly basis, she will call me or text me with a prayer request for a wounded dog or hurting friend. She will spend several minutes empathizing with the pain of the suffering, and at some point, she will say one key word in Spanish.
Example: Please pray for my neighbor who broke her arm when she was painting the roof and fell off the ladder. Pobrecita, I feel so bad for her.
Pobrecita literally means “poor little thing.” When Barby says it, it’s a term of endearment and deep understanding.
Pobrecita is quite similar to the Southern girl’s “Bless her heart.” And, because I speak Spanglish and had a close friend from Macon, Georgia in college, sometimes I will use these two phrases in conjunction for double the emphasis.
Pobrecita. Pray for her. Bless her heart.
The problem is that unlike Barby, I do not always have the gift of mercy. Sometimes, I think I have the spiritual gift of complaining (Yes, I know that this is not actually a fruit of the Spirit. I am working on that.)
So, I like to think: “Pobrecita Me!”
This morning, my husband informed me that he was coming down with a cold, and I immediately morphed from peaceful wife to psychotic nagger.
My immediate thought: “Nooooo! Not again.” I know he only has the sniffles, but I let the worry monster gobble me up, and I immediately became imprisoned by despair. Instead of choosing to rest in Christ, I drove off to work with a wagging finger pointed at my husband.
I spent the entire day thinking about what I could do to make Bruce feel better — because I don’t want to see my husband struggling to just breathe again.
My Pobrecita Persona can really rob me of my joy if I let it sit in the driver’s seat of my heart.
Pobrecita Me loves to throw a good pity party.
How to Host a Pity Party
- Worry, Whine, and Wallow: Rehearse your problems, rather than God’s promises. Count your burdens, not your blessings.
- Fly Solo: Don’t ask anyone to pray for you. Stay away from church. Spend the weekend in bed under the covers.
- Nurse a Grudge: Refuse to forgive. Stay offended forever.
- Indulge Yourself: Don’t think about helping others or serving. Rather than extending your hand, eat a pint of ice cream while you sit on the couch.
Next time you want to host a pity party, roll up your shirt sleeves and get to work instead. Clean out your heart and cultivate 4 things:
- Gratitude: We are called to “give thanks in all circumstances” (I Thessalonians 5:18). Planting seeds of thankfulness transforms our perspective.
- Fellowship: Life is a team sport. On our own, we are prey for destruction. Hebrews 10 challenges us to “press in” during times of opposition: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
- Forgiveness: Discord is a tool of the enemy to keep us bound in bitterness. Don’t fall for that trap. Paul encourages us to rise above offense: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:12-14).
- Surrender: Life isn’t about “me.”Philippians 2:3-4 provides our marching orders: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
You are not a Pobrecita. You are a Prevailing Champion with God in your corner.
Something to think about…
I’m sharing “How to Throw a Pity Party” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.
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