Have you ever carried heavy objects by yourself that you PROBABLY shouldn’t have? Have you ever dropped that heavy object on your foot because you should have had help? Have you ever attempted to set up a lofted bed, only to start saying verbs and adjectives that you shouldn’t, only to have friend walk in, laugh, and ask, “do you want some help?” Have you ever been a toddler trying to open a jar of jelly, and when your parent asks if you want help, you yell, “NO. DO IT SELF!”? If so, you are probably like I’ve been basically my whole life—sometimes prideful, other times too meek, and otherwise arrogant.
My entire life I’ve been fighting this battle of “Do It Self”. In my lifting of heavy things, my want for control over things that I truly have no control over, as well as it creeping into my Christian walk. Most of the time, I think that I can do things for myself, and try my best to get by living life on my own. The reasons? I don’t want to bother people with my problems. I think I could do something better if I just did it myself. I don’t want to burden someone with what I need help with—they have enough to probably do as it is. I don’t want to look stupid for having to ask for help. I try to be so self-sufficient to a point that I push people out of my life, sometimes on purpose and other times subconsciously. The only problem with my tendency to live completely self-sufficiently however, is that this life was never meant to be lived alone. Think about it. There’s over four billion people on this planet, all with stories to tell, hurts, needs, and wanting to be known and loved. We were created for community.
As a Christian, I believe that we were created in the image of God, only to find completeness through a relationship with Him. God created us to be in community with Him—and also others. The book of Ecclesiastes puts the importance of community this way:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)
You may have heard this read at mainly weddings, but I think that saying this Scripture is solely to be used at weddings cheapens its value (because normally people just read the phrase “lie together”, immediately think of the song “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye, and think this relates solely to marriage. Wait…that was just me in 6th grade? I mean….I never thought that either, y’all…). Sometimes in life we go through hard things that we can’t really get through completely on our own. Sometimes we need the three-cord-bond between God, our friend, and ourself to help overcome obstacles that we can’t get out of alone.
In the Christian life, it can be so easy to get weary living out your faith alone; which is something I continually seem to forget. Normally I like to say, "no, I've got this." I get so used to trying to be the “strong, self-sufficient, self-made” man, when in reality I’m trying to keep a facade that was never meant to be kept in the first place. I don’t have it all together. In fact, I’ll never have it together. I’m a sinner just like everybody else so much that Jesus had to die on the cross for me, too. To think that I don’t need anyone or help ever makes me look like an idiot. People need people. God designed me to be in community with Him and others—and He designed you that way, too.
I’m not saying that I have it all together or this problem of mine all figured out in ANY way, but I’ve decided to start to change some things. I need to start asking for help more. I need to start being honest with my failures. I need to realize that the people that care about me WILL NOT be “burdened” with me asking for their help. So if you’re anything like me, realize that you might need to stop the arrogance of “Do It Self”—you might be surprised how freeing it may truly be.