Reflection

Being a “Strong Person” Is for the Birds – by Christine Joy

November 9, 2015

There are benefits to needing the help of others.

A person that can, “handle a lot” or “never seems ruffled” or hears, “I don’t know how you do it” is a strong person.  They are capable and independence, perhaps have pulled themselves up by their own boot straps.  Society honors that kind of thinking and pushes “self-help” philosophies.  Strong people are the epitome of the American Dream.  They never ask for help- they don’t need it.  They don’t need anyone.  They don’t need God.

I don’t say these things lightly.  I considered myself a “strong person”.  Oh yes, I always thought of it as handling things ‘with God’s help’, but I was pretty sure that I could manage whatever there was to manage.  I assumed God rubber-stamped my work.

What did being a strong person get me?  NOTHING.  Maybe a little esteem from others who also value strength and fear weakness.  But there are no rewards, and frankly,  no one really cares.  When you handle everything yourself, you are communing with…only yourself.  It is very isolating.  There is a wall between you and people, and really between you and God.  You don’t let anyone help, and you especially don’t let anyone see you being needy.  And because we can never be strong enough or really handle everything, when we fail, it is devastating.  It shakes the very foundation of our identity because we had based it on our own abilities.

When necessary God allows us to hit the bottom of our resources and come up wanting.  It makes us re-orient our self-worth not to what we can do, or what we think we can do, but solely because we are beloved children of God.  Because Jesus died for us.  That is all.  That is enough.

Senior and young holding handsWhat do we gain by needing help? A whole lot.  We enjoy the blessings of people around us, caring for us, loving us, helping us: the joy of community.  We can learn a better way without re-inventing the wheel.  We get a “check” to our pride, which left alone can be extremely damaging.  We receive the blessings and pure joy that comes of God’s working in our lives.  And most importantly, we see what only God can do.  When we do things ourselves, we get done what we can get done.  When we admit our short-comings and need for help, get out of the way and let God take over, there is no limit to what he can do through us.

This isn’t “Amateur Night”.  We are fighting in the big leagues and the Devil is a heavy weight.  We cannot afford to waste time and energy by trying to fight him by ourselves.  We need to get out of the way and let our Heavy Weight Champion take over.  That is the only way to win.

Copyright Christine Joy

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Christine Joy is Midwest raised with a Colorado heart. Her four children have recently emptied the nest and her husband says they are “back where they started”. She is continuing her love of Bible Study while exploring her interest in writing.

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