Just Say “No” to Self-Reliance

We men in the Church have a huge potential problem. 

From our earliest years we are taught to be self-reliant:

  • Work hard
  • Do not borrow
  • Get out of debt
  • Get a good job
  • Support your family
  • Make your own decisions
  • Be the leader in the home
  • Take responsibility for yourself
  • Do not depend on others for support
  • Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps
  • If you've made a mistake, fix it yourself
These are all great concepts, except when they creep in to the areas of repentance and addiction.

Neither repentance nor recovery from addiction can be successful beneath the umbrella of self-reliance. Without help from the Lord, neither repentance nor recovery is possible. Yet we somehow feel that since “we got into this by ourselves,” thus “it is our responsibility to get out of it by ourselves.”  Wrong!

That is not Christ’s doctrine. We desperately need His help if we are to be successful. Many of us initially struggle with Steps 1, 2, and 3.  Each of those steps goes against what we thought we believed:

  1. Admit that you, if yourself, are powerless to overcome you addictions.
  2. Come to believe that the power of God [not your power] can restore you to complete spiritual health.
  3. Decide to turn your will and your life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Nowhere in those steps is there any mention of the need to be self-reliant.  Just the opposite, we are commanded to become humble and teachable. And until we can become humble, and give our will to the Lord, we will never be successful in overcoming our weaknesses.

Please ponder on these things and the Spirit will testify of their truth!

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