Self Help is no Help at All.
“Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” The Message Matthew 16:24-26
This sounds like an extreme statement – OF COURSE WE NEED TO HELP OURSELVES! How else will we will be able to help people like Jesus said? How else will we have energy for Church work if we don’t look after ourselves? True points but the focus is off.
Even when we work as a Christian all day, working for others, caring for people, we can still have the focus on ourselves. We decide when we will help and who and which hour-long church activity to help out with. Is this letting Jesus lead? It sounds pretty planned.
I’m sure Jesus loves that we incorporate help into our routines, and it’s an essential part of holding a church or community together, but what about the unexpected interruptions when people need help. What about when the deep relationships we are making with people take more from us than we think wise to give?
That’s when self-help is no help at all; we need to show self-sacrifice – that’s what Jesus did and that’s what He asks for.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.” The Message Matthew 5:7
Jesus tells us an upside down God’s kingdom rule that works in our lives as Christians. When we wear ourselves out by personally loving someone, when we show self-sacrifice and care for others; God will care for us and He will give back far more than we gave out to those we helped.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/elsombrerodepensar/6542794807/”>Alba Soler Photography</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>