From the time we’re born until the time we leave this earth, it seems like there is a prevailing driving for people–particularly men–to be able to “do life” all by themselves. I remember my kids repeating this phrase to me often, “Look dad, I did it all by myself.” While they don’t repeat the phrase as much, some of my adult friends seem to be stuck in that same mindset. Let me prove that I don’t need anyone.
Maybe it’s the John Wayne/Mel Gibson/Russell Crowe syndrome. (you fill in your own megastar) Somehow we believe that we are nothing until we can prove that we are…everything. Men, think about how much time and energy is spent living life around others in an attempt to prove that we don’t really need them. We’re too proud to believe that we need encouragement, true friendships, spouses or a repairman. What this can lead to is unnecessary mistakes and a special kind of arrogance.
I see it all around me, even in myself. This pride that comes from “doing it all by myself.” While there should be pride over the accomplishments we have, we must be careful that it doesn’t lead us down a path of never needing, wanting or recognizing the contributions of others in our lives.
I’m thinking specifically of a blog that is “read to me” occasionally. I say “read to me” because I gave up reading it myself a long time ago. It’s a young pastor who is constantly writing to his followers as if to say, “Look world, I did it all by myself.” Lisa will come across it from time-to-time and share some of his thoughts and writings. Of course, being a pastor, he will mention God and even give credit to Him on occasion. But the vein that runs through his writing is one that says, “I’ve got this. I don’t need anyone else.”
I think the reason that bothers me so much is because I do see that arrogance in me sometimes…and in some close friends that I won’t mention here because I want them to remain close friends. If you trace this kind of arrogance, it tracks all the way back to the garden when Adam and Eve said, “We know what you said, God. We know who you are. But we think we have a better plan. We can do this ourselves.”
The best remedy for such an attitude? Pardon the blunt nature with which I say this…watching your wife and son die prematurely, needlessly, right in front of you. Nothing does more to remind you that not only do you need others but, without them, we wouldn’t be much. This applies exponentially to our need for God. A friend of mine shared this with me during our LIFE group time last night. It’s a great reminder that none of us makes it without the help of our Creator.
For He knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. Psalm 103:14 NLT