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Are You Self-Sufficient?

November 19, 2015

Do you remember the day when you graduated from high school or college with an incredible sense of freedom along with a desire and longing to be all on your own? There may have been an excitement in the air with the thought of setting out to chart a path in life that was considered “all yours.” As you contemplated those life issues, you thought to yourself that you had the ability, wherewithal, and good common sense to leave a unique and indelible footprint on others or perhaps impact some halfway around the world. There were so many plans to make and questions to ponder. You may have thought, “What impact will I have? What kind of legacy will I leave for future generations? What can I achieve in the next five, ten, or fifteen years? How far will I progress in my career? Will I be the president or vice president of a major corporation? Will I get married? How many children will I have? Where will we live?” These thoughts and others were probably accompanied with exhilarating emotion along with an eager anticipation to know what the future might hold for your life.

But one thing was for sure, you felt ready for the task at hand. “The challenge will be met head on!” you exclaimed. “I can do it! I will be on my own and will conquer the world,” you thought. While your parents may have provided an adequate or even a wonderful environment for your upbringing and did a terrific job in the parenting department, there was just that romantic thought of being your own man or woman. More than likely your parents diligently and painstakingly taught you the rules of the road for that purpose we call “life.” They sacrificed their time, energy, and finances so that you were equipped to make it in that “big bad world” out there. As you got older and were ready to head out to meet those challenges of life, your parents may have jokingly quipped, “My children are all off the family payroll now and are making it on their own.” Isn’t that the heart’s desire of most parents? They want to see their children grow up to be self-sufficient. How long did it take you’re children to become self-sufficient? How long did it take you? Are you self-sufficient right now?

If your answer to the last question above is “no”, then you might be on the right track. You may have come to the conclusion and have the depth of character and spiritual understanding to know that as a child of God, you will never be self-sufficient outside of His wonderful grace. Yes, it is a good thing that we all learn to work hard, provide a living for our family, and pay our bills. Generally speaking, we should not look to others to support our families (barring extreme and unusual circumstances) and feel entitled to ongoing support that is not earned, regardless of what the world might be telling us. And, yes, there may be times when reaching down to provide a helping Christian hand to others is needed and a blessing from above. However, in the long-haul, God has designed man to work and provide for his family. That is a Biblical mandate and a God-given principle.

We must also remember that God has designed the human race where social interaction and reliance on powers greater than ourselves (Christ), are paramount to successful living. We are to nurture and develop those horizontal covenant relationships with fellow believers. We should care for, minister to, and provide spiritual encouragement to one another as part of who we are as Christians. That should be our “Christian leadership worldview.” God has created man in His image and followers of Christ have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we should strive to be thoughtful souls and considerate of others before ourselves. Christ was the epitome of relying on His Heavenly Father for sufficiency. Christ’s example of servant leadership is a well-known fact among Christians and non-Christians alike. Quite frankly, self-sufficiency is at the opposite end of the spectrum in Christendom. We should want our children to rely on other Christians (for accountability) and to develop a worldview that seeks the sufficiency of our Savior Jesus Christ. We are taught in God’s Word to be totally and utterly dependent on the Heavenly Father. The expression “more of Him and less of me” is an appropriate tagline. There is no weakness in relying on the Savior for our daily needs. The Word of God gives us wonderful and detailed instruction on the topic of sufficiency in Christ.

The three verses below sum up quite nicely our responsibility to embrace our Savior for the sufficiency that we require here on God’s created earth. The scripture teaches us not to think too highly of ourselves and become self-sufficient and self-reliant, but rather to embrace the gift of grace that is provided through a personal and loving relationship with Jesus Christ. He will provide all of your earthly and heavenly needs. We are to rest in Him. It is an awe inspiring message that is full of grace, hope, redemption, and reliance on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

2 Corinthians 3:5-6 – “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 – “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

The Bible also gives us great warning about self-sufficiency. We are to flee our old sin nature of self. Ultimately, we will reap what we sow and suffer the consequences. The reality of this message is servitude and punishment as we yield our members to sin, rather than yielding to an Almighty God.   

Ezekiel 16:15 – “But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on everyone that passed by; his it was.”      

Acts 7:41 – “And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.”

Zechariah 7:11 – “But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.”

Zechariah 7:6 – “And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?”

Jeremiah 48:7 – “For because thou hast trusted in thy works and in thy treasures, thou shalt also be taken: and Chemosh shall go forth into captivity with his priests and his princes together.”

What are you trusting in today? Who are you relying on? Are you taking this dying and wicked world on all by yourself trying to conquer the mountain tops? Honestly, is your sufficiency in Christ and Christ alone? Or does the title of this article, “Are you self-sufficient?” tug at your heart strings?

The article above was written as a companion to another article titled, “The Me Generation.” My prayer is that these two articles will be a blessing and challenge you to put greater trust, reliance, and faith in the one who matters………..Christ.   


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