You and I are people in desperate need of assistance.
It's hard to admit, but there are subjects we don't understand and skills we can't master. We'll try to defend and excuse our inability, but ultimately, our track record of failure and poor judgement speaks for itself: we could use some help.
But we need help with more than just tasks - we need moral assistance, too. We say things in haste, make decisions without wisdom, and desire things with wrong motives. We need help!
Despite the overwhelming evidence, we stubbornly plod on, thinking we can accomplish life on our own. Why? Because we've fallen for two very seductive lies.
The first lie is AUTONOMY. Autonomy declares that we're independent beings with the right to do what we want - when, where, and how we want.
The second lie is SELF-SUFFICIENCY. Self-sufficiency declares that we have everything within ourselves to accomplish whatever it is that autonomy has granted us license to pursue.
What's so dangerous about these two lies? Well, besides the fact that we make a mess whenever we believe them, the Bible presents us with the reality of COMMUNITY.
From the beginning, we were designed to live in vertical community with God and horizontal community with others. Even before sin and brokenness entered the world, Adam and Eve communed with God and with one another.
When you live in worshipful community with God, you're aware of his presence and make wise decisions. When you live in intentionally intrusive community with others, you receive wisdom from others and find safety within an abundance of counselors (Proverbs 11:14).
It's very tempting to slide into an autonomous and self-sufficient lifestyle, so I've trained myself to start each day with three prayers. Reciting these before I even get out of bed reminds me of my need for community:
- "Jesus, I'm a person in desperate need of help today."
- "God, in your grace, send your helpers my way."
- "Spirit, give me the humility to receive the help when it comes."
Don't be intimidated by your inability, and don't be afraid to bare your weakeness before God and others. Jesus came as the Prince of Peace to restore our community with God and to enable selfless community with others. Will you ask him for assistance today?
Paul David Tripp
- How did you believe the lie of autonomy last week? Be specific.
- How did you believe the lie of self-sufficiency last week? Be specific.
- How can you pursue community with God and others this week? Come up with at least three specific actions to take.