Healthy Dependence

“It is healthy to be dependent.” Sam Allberry

Allberry said the quotation above in a podcast discussion about how physical frailty is a reminder of our spiritual dependence. Needing others reflects how we need God.

We do need God. Culturally and naturally we may struggle with that truth, but as children of God we acknowledge it as truth (even if we show it less well some days than others). We need Him for our life, eternal and otherwise. We rely on Him for each breath and each action. We rely on Him for grace to get through each day, to love Him and our neighbor at all.

But even after we fully acknowledge and demonstrate our dependence on God and joy in trusting Him, there’s still the needing others bit. Really? Must we? Isn’t God more pleased when we take care of ourselves?

Personal responsibility does please God. At the same time, personal relationships please God. He is the One who designed humans to live a communal life (Gen. 2:18). He is the One who designed the church as a body of believers, growing and ministering together (Eph. 2:19-22; I Cor. 12). We are not islands. We need each other by divine design.

So, the next time we need help and don’t want to ask for it, let’s see it as an opportunity to be more healthy and live our divine calling as human beings in community.

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecc. 4:9-12)

The Best Encouragement

While reading Trillia Newbell’s Fear and Faith recently, I was struck by her reminder about how important it is to encourage each other and how we can do that well.

Encouragement points out the ways God is moving in the lives of others. Thus encouragement points others toward God.

Sometimes we are encouraged in a way that puts more pressure on us. If I did it well once, I must continue doing it perfectly from now on. People are watching! Right?

What if we encourage each other by pointing out what God has done (and is doing) in the lives of our sisters and brothers in Christ?

Referring to Romans 15:7, Newbell writes:

Now imagine if we had this mentality in us as we relate to our sisters in Christ. Imagine if we banded together with one voice proclaiming that Christ is enough and then proclaiming to our sisters the same—“Christ is enough!” Wow! How powerful that would be. I want you to know that Christ is enough. Those familiar verses and words about the Lord’s rejoicing over you aren’t to make you feel better. They are the truth.

In this way, we can rejoice together in the loving, gracious work of our Father. He is at work in the hearts and lives of his children, and that is greatly motivating!  When our eyes are together on Him, we will be well. We have confidence in His work when ours is, shall we say, completely inadequate. We can mutually benefit by seeing past grace in each other’s life, which will keep our eyes confidently looking for the grace to come.

We must aim to glorify the Lord in all we do and rest in the Savior, who doesn’t place on us pressures for perfection.

“I see God working in your life. Hallelujah! It will be beautiful to see Him continue that work as you continue to rest in Him.”