Dependence Day

People tout independence as if it were a virtue. “He’s an independent little chap” could have a subtext of someone being arrogant, wilful, stubborn or just plain rebellious. That’s probably something of how Britain viewed the colonies as they made the move to become the independent United Sates of America back in 1776.

The Bible teaches that we were created for dependence, not independence. The first man walked and talked with his creator in a garden of mutual trust and fellowship. He was completely dependent. When he rejected the garden and chose his own way –as all of his ancestors have done ever since– he chose the way of independence. The same spirit emerges in that old poem “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul” or even in the Frank Sinatra lyric: “I did it my way.” Of course, that’s the point, isn’t it? You either do things your way or God’s way.

The trouble is that you were created for dependence. The Lord’s Prayer opens with “Our Father.” In two words Jesus reminded his disciples of the mutuality of man (“Our”), that we’re all in this together and we better get used to the idea—and his dependence (“Father”). To call God “Father” is to register his authority, his faithfulness and his loving concern. To say “I am dependent” does not mean wimpish, childish—some kind of moral cripple– it simply means that there is a whole area of my life that remains unfulfilled until I recognise Father. Until I do, I’m a spiritual orphan, I’m someone who has forgotten his surname and doesn’t know who he is (or whose he is).

I suspect that the whole of our life is one big learning curve where we open our hearts to say “Not my will but yours be done, Father.” And then you realise that being dependent actually liberates you to become who you really are: the much-loved child of the king.

Words Of Wisdom
Webpage icon All authority
Webpage icon Family Life
Webpage icon FRIENDSHIP
Webpage icon God knows best
Webpage icon Have you heard?
Webpage icon I am the A to Z
Webpage icon More than enough!
Webpage icon Reaping what we sow?
Webpage icon Serving and being served
Webpage icon The Mission of the Miraculous (Mk 5:21-43)
Webpage icon The Power of Sorrow and the Power of Joy (Mk 5:21-43)
Webpage icon The Terms of Change
Webpage icon The throne of grace
Webpage icon To my child
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