I caught myself the other day thinking something I tend to say a lot.
“I’ve got it.” I say it when I’m trying to do something on my own. I say it when I’m trying to take the burden off someone else to do something. I say it when I’m trying to handle something on my own. I say it to be independent.
And in this world, independence is such a thing that’s admired. That somehow by doing whatever we want because we’re strong and free, we are superior people. It’s a message that gets pushed and shoved in our faces – You can do it; don’t let anything stop you. You don’t need help.
And for some, this is an empowering message. An inspiring one that keeps us going on, knowing that we don’t have to give up. But it soon turns into a dangerous message, and here’s why.
The “just do it” message only works if you can do it. That is, if you’re capable.
And being human as I am, I’m not capable of everything. I collapse under stress. I don’t have perfect faith. I’m tempted at times. I stay home alone for one afternoon and find that OH MY GOODNESS WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT MY FAMILY. (I love you, family.)
Frankly, I live needing help. But we were meant to be this way. In needing help, we allow ourselves to be dependent on God, and we do not need to suffer alone.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Jesus sympathizes with us because He experienced everything we do. He was tempted. He experienced pain – He was crucified, for crying out loud! To think that we must always be independent is to deny the strength and peace that He offers.
Check this passage out as well.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I like being independent, I really do. But I know I can’t always. I’m not perfect, nor should I try to be. It’s a good thing to lean on God, to rely on His strength. It’s a good thing because He has no capacity to fail. He will never leave, never stop loving us, never give up on us.
No matter what we do, we are loved and cared for. Our bad choices are not counted against us. And even when we doubt, God proves Himself to us.
Instead of chasing independence, let’s chase the One who gives us true freedom to rest in Himself. Because that’s the most freeing thing of all.
4 Replies to “Independence: The Good and the Bad”
I love this post! Reminds me of something C.S Lewis said “You may forget that you are at every moment totally dependent on God.” We can’t do anything without Him 🙂
Indeed our emotions and mentality change, our strength and capabilities may wane but His love for us never ever does 🙂
Beautifil post Amanda!
Thank you, Grace!
I love that quote so much. It’s almost reassuring to me to know that I am dependent on God because I know that He will never fail any of us. 😉 Thanks again!
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Yes! This is an area I, by the grace of God, have grown in over the past year or two, as I’ve been telling you about. But I certainly still have room to grow here. 😛
Funny thing, I see this balance a lot at work. The balance between not asking your coworkers or manager to help you do everything, but also not being ashamed to ask questions if you’re not sure about the right way to do something. Let me tell you, it has saved my company a lot of money (and me a lot of pain!) for me to ask how a machine works if I’m not 100% sure. No one wants to accidentally chop off a finger because they didn’t ask for help!
Ah, that is definitely a good lesson to learn! Similarly, I used to not be good at asking for clarification when I hadn’t been paying attention, and so I made a LOT of mistakes before I decided to ask questions. XD Good advice! And I’m glad you still have all of your fingers. 😉