Last week I told you that my wife and I brought children into this world who thought they didn't need parents. At times, our kids genuinely believed they were smarter than their mom and dad.
As the father of four, there were two more lies I observed my children believing. (Although, the Bible teaches - and everyday life reveals - that us adults fall for these same dangerous lies!)
1. The Lie of Autonomy
To be truly autonomous is to be independent, self-determining, and self-ruling. To possess autonomy is to have the right to do with your time and resources whatever you will.
My kids wanted to believe they were autonomous when it came to bedtime, or when it came to choosing candy over vegetables. Imagine the unhealthy chaos that would have ensued if Luella and I let our young children determine what was best!
Kids surely need a wise and loving parent to rule over them.
2. The Lie of Self-Sufficiency
To be self-sufficient is to have everything you need within yourself to be what you were designed to be, and to do what you were designed to do.
Picture a young child trying to learn to tie his shoes. He would fumble with those laces for years if it weren't for the help of his parent (or grandparent or older sibling). Newborn infants cannot survive with constant supervision, and even young adults have significant limitations.
Kids surely need assistance from a community of others looking out for their best interest.
You and I Are Still Like Children
As we develop into mature, accomplished adults, it's tempting to believe that we are closer and closer to reaching levels of autonomy and self-sufficiency.
It's not hard to find evidence to the contrary. Imagine if every driver decided to be autonomous on the road tomorrow. Or, consider all the things you did in the past 24 hours that relied on the work of someone else.
More importantly, as children of God, we don't get to set our own rules and chart our own course. Because we're created in the image of God and not the Creator himself, we're not in charge of our own life. And because we're finite in knowledge and flawed in morality, a wise and holy God needs to guide us towards what is good and right and true.
As members of the family of Christ, we're designed to live in worshipful dependence upon God and in humble, interdependent community with his people. We surely don't have what it takes to see ourselves with accuracy or live according to the Bible's standards.
You see, even if we know how to tie our shoes and choose our meals and go to bed at a reasonable hour, we still need help. Lots of help.
So today, let's ask for help, both from God and from others. Let's not pretend as if we know more than we actually do. Let's listen more than we speak. Let's not be quick to defend our righteousness. Let's humbly accept the confrontation of others.
Being a child of the living God is the biggest blessing we could ever experience. Let's take advantage of that blessing by living as his dependent, obedient kids.
- Why is tempting for you to sometimes think that you're smarter than God?
- How has God revealed himself to be smarter, wiser, more knowledgeable and more loving than you?
- Think of a recent decision you made because you believed (even just for a moment) the lie of autonomy. How would your decision have been different if you remembered your place as creature instead of Creator?
- How can you humbly depend on the body of Christ this week. Don't just think physical needs, but specific spiritual areas of weakness.
- How can you serve someone in the family of Christ this week?