The Self Sufficiency Lie


My dream island would look something like the picture above, peaceful, with beautiful beaches and the bliss of doing nothing but relax, catch some fish to eat on a log fire and then go back to relaxing not needing anything from anyone, being in two words self sufficient. Something we all work hard at being whether on an island or in an office.

Being self sufficient is so appealing, its more than financial stability, but that outward posture of being “fine”,”great” or as one of my congregation says Champion even when he has quietly had a hospital visit for an operation!

Perhaps you have seen the movie About A Boy where a character played by Hugh Grant believes that man is an island, much like the above picture, calm, knows what he is about. Yet as Hugh’§s character discovers, ultimately he is utterly alone as much as this island is alone, a small dot in an ocean and is a place fairly inaccessible with limited access too outside amenities.

People in all walks of life pressent to the world and God an image of self sufficiency, and if they are inquired upon usually say ” I’m fine”, “great” or “I’m champion.”

How many of us including myself find that if we are unsure of something, like a spelling or a technical question, we don’t ask a human for fear of ridicule or embarrassment. Instead our goto places can be, Apples Siri or google search, they don’t point jokes at our lack of understanding or learning and they can’t knock our fragile egos. So our self sufficient veneer remains intact.

This strategy works to a point, but (dare I say it?) Siri makes mistakes, the IOS dictation software is totally inconsistent and even google makes errors! Within all this God sees us, sees me, trying to waffle my way through, choosing other words in this post because the dictation software is not that great and I cannot spell it, no matter how much I shout the word at the screen.

The song by Mat Redman The Heart Of Worship sums it up, when all is said and done, we come as we are before God, with all pretence and tricks to succeed stripped away. Are you willing to be rather than self sufficient, reliant on God, on the help of good friends and colleagues. Or my wife who checks my mistakes when I write stuff, not because I am insufficient or stupid, but because she loves me and wants to help me in an area of weakness.

Let’s foster an atmosphere wherever we are, whether in our family or work, where we allow each other to admit to when they are not great at something, without ridicule or laughter or causing them personal embarrassment and shame. and find ways to enable that person, rather than forcing them or me to scuttle behind our facade of self sufficiency,

Take a look at this link to the song The Heart Of Worship and spend some time with the Lord on the areas of self sufficiency in your lives.

Prayer Time

God, help me to be less self sufficient and more reliant on you, and those you have put in my life to bless me. Finally Lord help me to have the grace to help others in need without judgement but because of love.





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