The error of self -sufficiency
My biggest ambition in life was not just to be successful, but to be self-sufficient. In fact, to put it more accurately I believed that success was equivalent to being self-sufficient in every single way and never having to depend on anyone, not even God for anything. As a result, even after I gave my life to Christ, I struggled with relying on God totally and completely especially in two very specific circumstances.
Firstly, I struggle in areas where I naively believe I can manage without help; areas which I am talented in or which come easily to me, or where I have favour. Basically, areas where I have misplaced confidence in my own ability or the ability of those close to me to help (family/ friends). Notably, although I will very quickly go to God in areas where I know without a doubt that I am weak. Thus, in areas where I believe I am able and do not really need help, it has been a struggle learning that even then that I still have to be dependent on God. I have struggled with this because it did not make sense to my flesh/ ego. I did not understand why if I know I can do something or a friend or family can easily sort me out, why did I still need to rely on God and put him first. Why not just be self-reliant and get it done and then only rely on God in situations where it was clear that I needed help. However, I am learning that God wants me to be totally and completely dependent on him. He wants to be involved in everything I do whether I am confident in my own abilities or not. He wants everything or nothing!
Secondly, I found that I struggle with completely depending on God in situations where I face big trouble. The kind which seems too big for my human eye. The kind that seems impossible to get out of; that looks like it will take me out. The kind of trouble that no human effort can solve, and as a result leaves me feeling hopeless. What I have found myself doing in such situations is carrying all my cares on my shoulders and trying to figure it all out even when I do not have the ability to change anything in my human strength. However, I have come to learn the hard way that this is actually self-sabotaging because doing this is emotionally destructive, and only magnifies my anxiety and unhappiness because when it is all said and done, there is absolutely nothing I can do in my human strength. Yet this is absolutely not necessary because we all have access to our God, and very importantly we need to always remember that he is bigger than any trouble that life can throw our way. 1 Peter 5:7 clearly states that you should cast all your anxiety and cares because He cares for you.
Today I am a recovering “miss busy body/ self-reliant addict” as I have come to truly know and experience the peace, confidence and joy that comes in completely relying on God in all things. I now realise that being self-sufficient for me was all about having control over my own life. It was about being the god over my life. Therefore, although the world celebrates and even worships self-sufficiency, I now realise that it is the biggest and most dangerous lie, it not only makes one a small god on this earth, but it sets you up for failure because no matter how self-sufficient you are, you are only human and you will always fall short because life happens!
So yes I am a former self-reliant addict and I am still very much in recovery, but these days I am intentional on reminding myself that it is not my job to worry or try to fix things, that all I have to do is put my cares on him who is able to do above and beyond anything I could ever ask or imagine. I now know that God is a father who wants all or nothing. He wants to be involved in everything I am involved in because he loves me. And the best part is that relying on God is for my own good. I now include God in everything. I include him when I am trying out a new hairstyle at the saloon; or when I make chapo because I cannot cook it to save my life; or when I am anxious about a deadline at work, or when a friend or family member is sick and even when I do not know what to wear. I now try to include him in literally everything because I know there is nothing too small or big for God. This is now my sweet spot because I have found a peace that makes no sense. I feel like a baby who has the covering of God in everything I do or touch just as long as I include God. I feel light, I feel safe, I feel happy. It is truly a blessing to be completely and utterly dependant on God, it is the best feeling in the world. It gives peace in times of trouble, joy when my world is falling apart or going very well, and not having to rely on yourself even when you believe you can is the most wonderful thing you can experience.