The Worst Thing You Can Do to Yourself

Life becomes exceedingly hard. You and I know that life is filled with disappointing, frustrating, and anxious moments.

Some of those times are simply overwhelming.

When those times come, there are things you can do to help and things you can do to make your experience worse.

Today I want to write about “The Worst Thing You Can Do to Yourself.”

Elijah the prophet is an example of what you can do to yourself that harms you. Neither you nor I  would assume that we would ever be speaking of the great prophet Elijah in this way.

You may know his story. If not, you can find it in 1 Kings 17-19. It is well worth the few minutes it will take to read.

Elijah challenged the prophets of the false God Baal to show by actions which God is greater. Elijah’s actions defeated the Baal prophets and showed that the Lord God is God over all the earth.

Elijah’s actions raised the ire of Jezebel, Queen of Israel. She vowed to kill him. He began running to the south.

While you can’t fault Elijah for leaving, you can readily see that this harmed him greatly.

His fatigue, hunger, and isolation threw him into a terrible depression. He came to believe that he was the only worshiper of the Lord left. Then he told God that they wanted to take his life also.

Elijah’s actions were the worst thing he could do to himself.

In times of great need, we need people. I’ve noticed through the years that people with depression and suicidal thoughts often isolate themselves from others. Their isolation is the worst thing they can do for themselves.

Because they don’t have other people around them to show them reality, they pick up their own reality – – with disastrous results. They begin to think they are the only one left or they begin to think that the world would be better off without them.

They often think that no one cares.

I want to encourage you to do your best to have people around you who will speak truth into your life.

Let me give you four practical ways to make sure you have people around you who can encourage and help you.

First, find a church and attend it at least once but preferably more than once a week.

No matter where you go to church, you will find caring people. Get into a small group Bible study. Involve yourself in ministries of the church where you are with other people for the good of the church and the Lord.

Nothing substitutes for the church. Make sure you have a church home.

Second, make sure you get around people on a daily basis. This may mean a trip to the mall, the grocery store,  a coffee shop, or even a fast food outlet. We all need to be around people.

Third, reconnect with your family. I’m always surprised how many families no longer talk or spend time together.

Life is too short to miss the joy of family.

Fourth, find other people in your situation. For example if you are a widow, get involved with other widows. Take care of each other by calling regularly or spending time together or going out to eat together.

All of these simple actions will help you overcome the Elijah problem – – the problem of isolation.

Remember, isolation is the worst thing you can do to yourself.

Each day I write a devotional about Christian living and pastoral leadership. If you would like to have a copy of my devotional each morning, you can sign up in the box below or at


One Comment

  1. Jim Matthews
    Jun 22, 2017

    Some of us just like the company of self–I don’t like small talk or the put on understanding being with other people–I get out with my kids and family but, I’m sorry, I don’t need anyone else–God gave me the people I needed in my life and I am thankful butthey are gone and that time is past–I don’t have the patience for getting to know new people. God be with you all.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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[The Armor of God] Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. — Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV)