Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I Can Do It Better Myself

I can do it myself, can’t I? Surely I don’t need other people and other people’s help? I mean, I realize I need God; that is a given. But after admitting that, do I really need other people? While we may not be willing to express it or even admit it to ourselves, I believe that many of us, deep down, have this attitude. I know I do.  And we say that we are the only ones who can really do this right. And we cannot really trust anybody but ourselves. And we end up like Moses, wearing ourselves out because we are not willing to delegate and not willing to admit we need help (Exodus 18:13-27). This can end up being hard on ourselves and hard on others. How do we avoid this trap?

We need to realize, first of all, that the root of this is pride. And pride is something that can be highly destructive (Proverbs 16:18; Romans 12:3; Philippians 2:5-11). We need to realize that we do not have all the answers and all the abilities. In line with that, we need to recognize that God has made us part of a body and we are required, as part of that body, to work together to accomplish His purposes (1 Corinthians 12:14-27; Romans 12:4-8; 1 Peter 4:10,11). If there is any question that the idea we should go it alone is something other than conceit, this is the answer. God means us to work together to do His work. Now let us be honest, sometimes God’s people are not all that easy to work with. But we need to realize that we too are imperfect and we need to help each other along (Hebrews 12:12,13; Colossians 3:12-14; 1 Peter 4:8). 

Part of the problem here is a distorted idea of leadership. Scripture makes it clear that leadership is necessary (Hebrews 13:17; Titus 1:5; 1 Timothy 5:17-20). But the purpose of leaders is not to do everything themselves, but to build up others to work together as Christ’s body (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Acts  20:26-32). This can sometimes be difficult, to allow other people to do things. It is risky; they might fail. But sometimes that is what needs to happen to help people  grow. A good example of this is John Mark, who failed, but Barnabas gave him a second chance and he ended up writing a gospel (Acts 13:13; 15:36-41; 2 Timothy 4:11). 

But most of all, we need to remember what our purpose is. Our purpose is not to build the most efficient organization but to build people, to make  disciples (Matthew 28:18-20; Colossians 1:28,29; Titus 2:14). Therefore, even if we can do something better ourselves, by doing it that way we may be frustrating our real purpose. And ultimately, we need to trust God to accomplish His plan, even if we are not personally involved (Matthew 16:18; Psalms 127:1,2; 1 Corinthians 3:6,7).

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