The older I get the more I see people trying to live their lives by being independent and self-reliant. The perspective being that it is better to trust only yourself when it comes to accomplishing something, instead of looking to others to help carry the load.
While this may be a great character trait in a John Wayne film, it is a poor way to live in the real world.. I have watched the determination of doing it “by myself” turn into bitterness. It is as if the person who is bitter has forgotten that they returned the favor of an offer to be helped. They marked it as “Return to Sender,” unwilling to open the gift for fear it might make them indebted to the giver.
I once knew a woman who had experienced loss, sorrow, and risen out of it to land on her feet and bring up her son and daughter successfully. The problem was, in the time it took to fight for these successes, she had become so angry, so bitter, she could no longer find joy in anything. The simplest places joy could be found, her young daughter’s achievements on her dance team or in school were overshadowed by the fact that she had not cleaned the litter box before school that morning.
No matter how many times she was reminded of the good things her daughter had completed, the woman could only focus on what had not been finished. In the end her abrasive personality cost her multiple friendships and her job.
Reflectively, I have wondered if she would have been different if she had received the offer of someone coming along her. We may never know.
God offers us the same gift. His gift or favor, is His son, Jesus.
Jesus came to this world to be our sin offering. Jesus said that He came to give us life, “and to give that life abundantly,” (John 10:10). No life to just get through it. Or a life that makes you seem like a stereotypical “good person.” No, it was the offer to give us mercy, grace, guidance, and companionship for the rest of our lives. The gift was costly, yet God chose to favor us with this gift. Because of free-will we can choose to accept the favor or we can return it.
When I think of the bitter woman I mentioned above, I imagine her heart dying slowly inside from the poison the bitterness has brought. The decision to be self-reliant really comes down to pride. Pride of self- trying to do it all on one’s own. Scripture is clear about self pride being sinful when taken to this extreme state For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).
It’s all a matter of choice.
Will we, will you, choose to keep walking the path of self or will you choose to walk with Jesus? He is holding out the eternal gift to you. It’s your decision. If you are not sure how to accept the gift speak with a trusted Eli ever or a trusted pastor about your doubt. Most of all, pray. For wisdom, guidance, and pray. Pray for God to direct you to the right person. Then trust Him. Do not return the favor.