The Lie of Self Sufficiency

In America, we encourage people to be self sufficient, self starters and self reliant. The problem with this is the first word in those concepts is “self.” The Christian life is all about Jesus and not self. We can’t even live the Christian life if we are the ones trying to do it.

Watchman Nee once wrote, “The life of many Christians today is largely a pretense. They live a ‘spiritual’ life talk a ‘spiritual’ language and adopt ‘spiritual’ attitudes, but they are doing the whole thing themselves. It is the effort involved that should reveal to them that something is wrong.”

Nee led an underground church movment in China starting in the 1930s. He spent a long time in prison for his faith. And he has written some of the deepest spiritual teachings in print today.

Nee called Christians back to Jesus as the one who gives us the power to live as God intended. Jesus said that our righteousness has to exceed that of the Pharisees. He set the bar extremely high just for us to realize that we can never please God by our own efforts. Holiness is attainable though for those who are in Christ.

Nee also wrote, “God does not demand what He will not perform, but we must throw ourselves back on Him for the performance.”

Going beyond being a Christian, everyday tasks necessary for survival require the assistance of others. None of us are really self sufficient for our daily lives. We all really on the sun for life.

In most industrialized worlds, we pay money for food, water, clothing and shelter. We generally don’t make, grow, build or gather any of these things ourselves.  

The hardest thing about being a Christian is dying to my own self.

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