Helping One's Self

One of the first of the myriad illusions which are entertained in regard to a mortal as existent in the flesh, is that of dependency upon material support or material conditions for subsistence. At the moment of birth, and for a considerable period of time thereafter, his condition seems to be one of almost total helplessness. Gradually, however, the belief that he is wholly dependent upon other mortals for his existence changes to the thought that he is almost, If not entirely, dependent upon himself or upon his own exertions for his existence, and that his health, prosperity, and success are largely subject to and influenced by conditions of climate, environment, chance, or luck. In the first chapter of Genesis, however, the Bible tells us that man does not exist as the result of another's mortal thought, neither does he pass through a period of nonintelligence before becoming intelligent, nor does he rely upon the support or withdrawal of material laws or conditions in order that he may express harmony, wisdom, and true being.

Although every one is familiar with the old adage, "Heaven helps those who help themselves," many have failed to make any practical application of the truth contained in the saying, because they have interpreted it to mean that divine aid would be forthcoming as the result of physical exertion or selfish motives, rather than by turning to God "with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" for help and enlightenment in time of need. The proverb cannot be used in this way, however, if one is wholly honest in his desire to make a practical application of the truth which it contains; neither can it be used as a convenient excuse for infringing upon the rights of others in the effort to accomplish selfish advancement. Therefore, the questions naturally arise: What does it mean to be self-reliant or to help one's self? Is it to be dependent upon physical strength, superior educational training, a nimble wit, or so-called force of character? By no means. Jesus said, "I can of mine own self do nothing," also, "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works," thereby declaring that only as selfishness, physical beliefs, and material notions are thrust aside and some degree of unity with God is realized, can the solutions to the problems of human experience be obtained. Then, and not until then, can satisfactory results be secured, and the truth expressed in the words of Paul be demonstrated: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

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Loving Diligence
November 1, 1924
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