Self-sufficiency

<<independence>>

This is using one’s own efforts and resources to achieve things without relying on others. While inner resourcefulness and self-reliance is to be commended, and we are to bear our own responsibilities, not expecting others to do for us what we can and should do ourselves, there must also be humility to ask for assistance when needed, rather than stubbornly battling along unaided and unsuccessful (Gal 6:5). We need other people in our lives and there will be some major issues that we can’t adequately address alone; most importantly, we can’t make heaven without Christ (Jn 14:6).

We should continually be reliant on God for on our own we can do nothing of eternal worth. It’s only what is inspired by, and we assist God in doing, that achieves lasting results (Zech 4:6; Jn 5:30, 15:5).

Pride causes us to believe we can always do what needs to be done in our own strength, yet it is God who gives us natural ability and salvation – “of

Needing each other helps keep us humble

His goodness we all have received” (Deut 8:18; Jdg 7:2; Isa 10:13; Jn 1:16; Eph 2:8,9). Excessive or unhealthy independence needs to be dealt with so we can ask for, and give assistance in areas which can’t be handled alone (Gal 6:2). Likewise, we are to work with all our might, diligently applying ourselves to the task at hand, but also to call out to God for divine help (Neh 4:6,9, 6:16).

No one can be fully self-sufficient. As the parts of the human body are interdependent so we need the challenges, comfort, help and accountability that only can come as we are intrinsically connected in the body of Christ, just as in our physical bodies (Rom 12:5; 1 Cor 12:12-27). We were not created to struggle alone but to be contributing members of a family, a society and the Kingdom of God (Gen 2:18).

See also: dependence, independence, pride.

 


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