The Danger of Self-Sufficiency

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Philippians 2:3

Eight weeks have passed since my relocation from Washington to California. Since moving into our new condo I’d written a devotional a day. Composing each one was an absolute labor. I intentionally and determinedly ignored the unopened boxes screaming “unpack me” along with the clutter of unorganized items that announced my neglect. To me, the disorder and disarray of our condo served as a disturbing picture of my current life achievement (or lack of). Yet, I trudged on daily refusing to take on household tasks until I had written and posted a daily devotional. I was holding myself together until I heard my husband telling a friend that he was enjoying his new job.

These words disturbed me because I couldn’t say I was enjoying writing. I had toiled, endured, trudged on, disciplined myself and produced every day, but it would be an absolute and utter lie to say that I enjoyed daily writing. I also knew that such striving might be a clue that writing may not be my calling in life.

In sharing this struggle with my husband, he suggested I employ the services of a life coach. He recognized this life transition was immensely challenging for me and wanted me to be supported as I pursued a new career. What’s even more disturbing is that in the midst of such support, I became more disturbed. You see, I didn’t want to need support. I wanted to pray this situation through, have God open doors, and walk right through them.

As I started to ponder my situation and tune into what God was saying to me, I recalled the decision made by a friend. This father had a son who was having trouble in school, associating with the wrong crowd, dabbling in drugs and making dangerous choices. When the idea of seeking support through counseling was suggested, he determined that his family would make it through this hurdle on their own. Unfortunately this family’s future didn’t have a happy ending. The son’s life became another casualty to drug abuse.

The decision of this father made me question if my desire to make it on my own was a refusal to acknowledge my need for help. During my quiet time today the verse, “Let not the foot of pride come upon me,” came to mind. (Ps. 36:11) A much as I’d like to make it on my own and figure out my next steps,  God hasn’t created me to live or succeed in life as a lone ranger. He’s made me to need the influence of others in order to complete His plans in my life. I’m sensing it’s time to consider my husband’s wise counsel, acknowledge my need for help, and stop working and writing alone.

Personal Response

Ask God to show you areas where you are trying to make it on your own.


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