If we but turn to God, that itself is a gift of God.

-Augustine 

 

The evils of being dependent on foreign oil have flooded the airwaves and dominated much of the discourse between this years two political parties as their presidential hopefuls square off.  With gas prices continuing to escalate it won’t be too long and the annual cost of fueling a car to get from point A to point B will soon equal that of sending a son or daughter off to an Ivy League college for an entire calender year.

The praises of self-sufficiency are as prevelant as ever.   We here in the States preach the virtues of self-sufficiency.  To be dependent on anyone other than ourselves is to be weak, or so we are told.  Contrary to what feel-good television preacher  Joel Osteen might have to say—you can be sure that Jesus-followers aren’t to be a self-sufficient people.  And I know that trusting God and throwing off any and every hope that we can change, redeem and save ourselves doesn’t set too well with us proud people, but the writers of Holy Scripture never did ask for our contribution—the gospel message is to shape our opinon instead.

As he watched him go, Jesus told his disciples, ‘Do you have any idea how difficult it is for the rich to enter God’s kingdom? Let me tell you, it’s easier to gallop a camel through a needle’s eye than for the rich to enter God’s kingdom.’

The disciples were staggered. ‘Then who has any chance at all?’

Jesus looked hard at them and said, ‘No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.’ (Matthew 19:23-26, The Message Bible)

The moment we are born we need air that we cannot provide for ourselves, and in the days to follow we will need care, food and shelter—and much more if we are to grow up healthy.  God’s design has never been that we become self-sufficient, it’s that we become God-dependent.

The doctrine of self-sufficiency is a myth after all. 

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