I was reading a devotional recently which spoke about one of the greatest problems we have as Christians. It stated weakness isn’t our great problem, but our independence. We do not ask questions we should be asking. We act as if we can handle things we cannot handle. We do not seek help when it is available. This independence allows us to congratulate ourselves when we succeed and not to give God glory. God does not want us to be independent of him, but to be fully dependent on him.
An American value is independence. It is taught early on and we find ourselves saying ‘pull yourselves up by the bootstraps’ or ‘paddle your own canoe.’ It is a badge of honor to be independent in an individualistic society. Even the founding fathers understood how important independence was for our country. This message heard by most, if not all Americans is, if you try hard enough and work hard enough, you can be independent and claim your own success.
As a counselor, I enjoy listening to my clients who lay down their independence and ask for help. I believe it is a great accomplishment to say you need help and to rely upon someone else to walk the journey with you. I see hurting individuals each week who are independent beings. They want to muscle their way through mental health issues. They want to look like they have ‘it’ all together’ on the outside. They rarely ask for help because that would mean they are dependent on someone else. This can be the facade they portray to others.
The facade is a terrible deception. It can lead people around you to back away and think you have it all figured out. If we ask for help we have to lay down our independence and let someone into our personal struggles. The Bible even speaks of our reliance upon others. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 it says, “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.” If we allow someone to help us, it is not weakness. It is part of who we were designed to be….dependent on God and dependent on others.
— Brooke Ewert