Relying on God in a ‘do-it-yourself’ world

It is a busy street. You and the loved child at your side need to cross it. You lean down slightly and ask him to take your hand. He shakes you off with a look of defiance. “No!” he says, puckering up his face and announcing, “All by myself.” It is clear he wants to cross the busy road without help.

In one way or another we have probably all been that adult—and that child. Some years ago I realized that I regularly insisted on doing almost everything “all by myself.” After all, I’d rationalized, doesn’t a can-do attitude fit the individualistic mind-set present in some cultures? But this approach truly wasn’t working for me. 

I found myself asking how the “all-by-myself” approach squared with Jesus’ profound statement “I can of mine own self do nothing” (John 5:30). Jesus never acted like a stand-alone being, even as a child. Yes, at the age of twelve he left his parents to talk with synagogue elders in Jerusalem. But he clearly saw himself as under God’s control, telling his parents, “I must be about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). He later stated, referring to his Christly identity, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).

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The gift of ageless living
October 29, 2018

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