Do you ever have trouble asking for help? I assume that it probably has something to do with my strong sense of independence, but that’s always been a struggle for me. Independence is great when you are talking about freedom from an oppressive regime that taxed us out the wazoo 200 years ago, but when it comes to how I live my life as a Christ-follower, it’s value is limited.
Krista and I were talking to a close friend last night who shared that he also has a difficult time asking others to help him. As we narrowed down the reasons, it came to pride and the desire not to let others see our weaknesses or our needs.
The problem with that perspective is that our sense of need is the defining characteristic in a Christian’s life. No one becomes a follower of Christ without first recognizing that they need Him. And once someone starts the journey with Christ, the degree to which they are aware of their need is the degree to which they will follow Him.
A “pull-up-your-bootstraps-and-do-it-yourself” approach only leads to emptiness and a longing for personal recognition (which can never be enough).
When we realize the limits of the resources within ourselves and the vastness of the resources that God offers us through relationship with Him, the pressure is suddenly off as we no longer have to defend ourselves and our abilities. Instead, we come clean about how needy we are and discover that God has invited us to come to Him with our asking, seeking, and knocking.*
Jesus illustrates God’s joy in giving good things to his sons and daughters in Matthew 7:11:
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”
Perhaps this Independence Day could also be a day to recognize the value of a life lived in dependence on an enormously capable and loving God.
(Thanks to Reddish for the “in dependence” idea.)