hardy har har… oh the irony!
Self-reliance is counterproductive
Jerry Bridges says, “We’ve been force-fed the doctrine of self-reliance for so long that it’s embedded into the very fabric of our souls. So we should not be surprised to discover we’re self-reliant toward God, as well.”
“Self-reliance toward God is a dependence on our own power. Isn’t it ironic that the more God-given natural abilities we have, the more prone we are to rely on them rather than on God?”
Will Mcrae is on the World Race now. In his blog yesterday, he said it’s the toughest thing he’s ever done. Why? Because he’s being asked to break the habit of self-reliance. “I’ve thought about this a lot and
have come to the conclusion that deep down I feel as if people don’t
know that this is not truth and that the people on my squad care for and
But I think that this is the mentality that Satan has tried to instill
in me, a
mentality of self-reliance. A mentality that says, ‘You have to take care
your own baggage.’ When in reality I’m called to give up my baggage to
We may not even be aware of our baggage of self-reliance, but it can be so very heavy. Too many of us slog through life under a cloud, depressed by all we’re carrying. And I say, “Give up!” You weren’t meant to go through life alone, shouldering its weight.
Relying on God or others doesn’t mean things will be hunky-dory, but when we encounter problems and rely on him instead of ourselves, we access his power. Better to admit the obvious: “God is God and I am not.”
Struggling with self-reliance? I recommend trying a daily declaration of dependence:
- I recognize my lack of power and ability.
- I choose to depend not on my own strength, but on almighty God.
Jesus relied on His Father.
That is our model.
Forrst Gump’s best friend, Bubba, said “You lean on me and I’ll lean on you and neither one of us will have to sleep with our face in the mud.” Right on Seth. Thanks for the reminder.
Funny that this would be your blog this morning. Last night I was realizing I was relying on myself to figure out the call God has for me, rather than just letting Him tell and show me.
Thanks for another beautifully timed post.
Had a conversation with God a while back that went like this:
Be still and know that I am God
At the same time a friend of mine saw a picture for me of a mother hen protecting her chicks under her wings, saving them from a fire. She said God wants you to know He’s the One who looks after you, not the other way around. He is God, you are not!
I’d love to say I have that one sorted, but as you say, self reliance is taught and lauded early and it’s very hard to shift! It can also be hard to see where you are living on your own power and not on His. Working out the difference isn’t always easy to perceive.
Seth, this is something that I think many World Racers have struggled with at some point. Our Squad talked a lot about Kingdom Values, and my team (led by the amazing Laura Meyers) had a phrase that we used all the time, especially in tough moments. We would say “Interdependence is a Kingdom Value.”
We all started the WR fiercely independent and self-reliant, and by the end of it, we had learned that we NEED to depend on God, and people. That is what it means to live in Community. 🙂
Yes, this I know and have known for a long time. But, this I don’t always do! God’s been reminding me recently (past ~3yrs) that He is the true source and I am nothing without Him.
I am smiling because this is timely for me–I’m reading it two days late yet I needed it now. There is nothing like a failure to remind me of this truth. He is God, I am not, and apart from Him I can do nothing.
Remembering “the vine and the branches” teaching always helps me. A branch never struggles to produce fruit or to do anything on its own. It simply abides in the vine.
God is the gardener. Jesus, the vine. I am the branch.
Apart from Him I can do nothing. He is God. I am not.
Loved this and needed it today. Thanks Seth.