It's hard to admit your need for help. It's hard to admit that there are things you don’t know and don’t understand. It's hard to admit that there are things that you can’t do. It's hard to reach out and cry out for help.
It's hard to confess to weakness and ignorance. It's hard to have to depend on another for what you think you should be able to supply for yourself. It's hard to talk about what you don’t know and what you can’t do. It's hard to admit to poor judgment and wrong responses. It's hard to receive correction and to confess to sin.
Why are these things so hard? Because we all like to buy into two very seductive lies. These lies argue against any need to be dependent and they bolster the independence that tends to attract us all. The first lie is the lie of AUTONOMY. Autonomy tells me that I'm an independent being with the right to do what I want to do, when, where, and how I want to do it.
Now you may say, "Paul, I know well enough not to believe that!" Yet every time you defend yourself against the correction of another or tell someone not to tell you what to do, you buy into this lie. The second lie is the lie of SELF-SUFFICIENCY. This lie tells me I have everything within myself to be what I’m supposed to be and to do what I’m supposed to do.
Perhaps you're thinking, "Okay, I do occasionally buy into my autonomy, but I definitely don't think I'm self-sufficient!" Yet each time you resist reaching out for help or each time you act as if you're okay when, in fact, you're not, you’ve bought into this lie.
Why are these two lies so wrong and so dangerous? Because the Bible clearly tells us that we’re people who have been made for COMMUNITY. We were designed to live in worshipful community with God and humble community with people. We were never constructed to live all by ourselves. Even Adam and Eve needed God and one another. Think about this. They were perfect people, living in a perfect world, yet they were still needy because they were not created to live life on their own.
Remember, there are few people more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you more than you do. You spend each day in constant conversation with you! And the things that you tell yourself shape what you do and say each day. Do you constantly remind yourself of your need for God and others? Do you tell yourself that it’s good to admit weakness and to reach out for help? If you do, it’s not a sign that something’s wrong. No, by God's definition, that kind of self-talk is a sign that something‘s very right.
How about beginning to pray these three prayers every morning?
- "Lord, I‘m a person in desperate need of help today."
- "Lord, won't you, in your grace, send your helpers my way?"
- "Lord, please give me the humility to receive the help when it comes."
Are you intimidated by your weaknesses? Are you afraid to bare your needs to God and others? Don't forget that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He came so that we’d be able to experience both peace with God and with others. He came so that we’d no longer have to seduce ourselves with the delusions of autonomy and self-sufficiency. He came so that we could be the kind of people we were created to be, living in humble worship of Him and humble dependency on others, right here, right now.
Paul David Tripp
- Reflect on the other people in your life. How do the decisions you make affect those around you?
- Share some evidence of your neediness. What were some things that you couldn't do this past week?
- When was the last time you initiated confession for a mistake you made?
- Why shouldn't you be intimidated by weakness?