“Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me”
By Pastor Ron Buxton
Although the song was made famous by Linda Ronstadt, it was actually written in 1976 by Warren Zevon. I know. I am old enough to have owned music by that obscure musical artist. Lyrically, it pokes fun at the self-absorbed entertainers from the folk/rock industry. However, being a catchy tune (with an even catchier title) made it an instant hit. I’m referring to the #1 song in both country and rock music called “Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me!”.
Upon first hearing, it seems like a so-called “everyman” song. That is, the song deals with one of the most common emotions in somebody’s life. And that’s really why it was so popular. Ironically, however, it really was a parody of that experience which isn’t what I am writing about today. You see, one of the easiest psychological ruts to fall into is self-pity. And that’s the hook from that popular song. Nevertheless, there are more than sad emotions at stake here. In fact, it can open the door to self-harm and even suicide which is really nothing to sing along with!
For the uninformed, the Bible deals frequently with this condition of sadness and depression. And it might surprise you to know that even Jesus Christ (in His humanity) faced this particular emotion stronger than anybody else ever will. That whole passage where He sweated great drops of blood (Luke 22:44) is all about that. And so, when we preach about Jesus, we must understand His victorious battle over that demon of self-pity. Otherwise, we really cannot present any lasting hope for those in the trenches of utter despair.
When I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, I was going through a very dark time. I saw no meaning to my existence. But how could I? I was taught in school that life is just some kind of evolutionary process that is random and without a transcendent purpose. And that’s why my adolescent musical preferences were what they were. Just read the lyrics to almost any song by Bruce Springsteen. News flash: His chest-pounding album “Born in the USA” was not patriotic. To the contrary, it was a rant against the Vietnam War. It was misunderstood just like the song title of this article.
Now, you might never have confronted that emptiness within your own soul. Perhaps you’ve just sung along with that catchy tune “Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me” without even giving it a second thought. However, you are the one that I’m writing to today. Are you really content with your meaning of life that ignores God? Let me be blunt. You are only fooling yourself. In fact, you might be only one heartbreak away from total desperation and utter despair.
Folks, Christ came to heal the brokenhearted. And, truth be told, we’re all broken. Trust Christ to give your life meaning and purpose. You don’t have to be “poor, poor, pitiful [you]” anymore! Christ understands your pain. Get your head off that railroad track–and receive Jesus into your heart today!