I’ll admit it- I’m as independent as the next guy! That means I hate asking for help. I’m the kind of guy who loves to take on a challenge. It doesn’t matter if it’s tinkering with the cabinets in my kitchen or if it’s trying to solve a complex social science issue; I like a good challenge. I like to try to solve challenges on my own. Therefore, I really hate to ask for help.
There is something inside of me that feels insufficient if I can’t fix a problem all by myself. Maybe that’s the reason why I hate asking for help. However, the older that I get, the more I realize that I have no choice but to ask for help from time to time. Life has taught me a few lessons, and these lessons forced me to reach out for help. I believe I’m better today because of some of these lessons that I’ve learned. Even though I’ve learned a couple of things along the way, I still hate asking for help. If you’re like me – and you struggle to ask for help, here are a few thoughts that may make it a little bit easier reach out for help:
I can’t do it all
No one is good at everything! I don’t know why, but I insist on trying to juggle too many things at the same time. As a result, I regularly make mistakes on the big things by giving too much attention to the little things. No one is good enough to do several things well at the same time.
You probably know what it feels like to be pulled in two different directions at the same time. Sometimes, I have two very important projects that demand my total attention at the same time. During these times, I have no choice but to reach out for help- because I can’t be excellent at multiple things at the exact same time. When you’re being pulled in several directions at the same time, look for somebody who can help take the load off of your shoulders.
I’m not perfect
It’s hard to admit that I can’t to be good at everything. It’s even harder for me to admit to myself that I’m not perfect. Therefore, I have a track record of messing up tasks that are important to me. When I mess up, it lets everyone involved know how bad I need outside help.
My mistakes are visible reminders to everyone of how badly I need outside help. Most of my friends and family realize my need for help before I do. Therefore, when I finally reach out and for someone support, they typically respond with, “I was wondering when you were going to ask.”
I need the Holy Spirit’s help
My mistakes are God’s way of reminding me that only he is perfect. My inabilities are often God’s way of reminding me that only he is all powerful. There’s something arrogant about the guy who acts like he’s got it all together – because we all know, no one is that good! I think there’s something that borders on idolatry in the heart of the man or the woman who tries to act like they’ve got it all together.
There is a fascinating passage in the Bible that sometimes makes me mad. I believe completely what these verses say, but I don’t really like them very much. John 15:1-8 compares my relationship to Jesus to the relationship of a branch to the vine. A branch is totally unable to grow on its own. All nutrients that sustain life comes from the vine. If the branch is cut off of the vine, the branch will die. Jesus suggests that my relationship with him should be just as desperate as a branch’s relationship with the vine. I get this part of the analogy; in fact, I don’t really even mind this part of the analogy that much. It’s what Jesus says in John 15:5 that really rubs me the wrong way. Jesus is emphatic – I can do NOTHING without him!
The word nothingis hard for me to accept. I sometimes feel a carnal desire to remind Jesus that there are some things I cando without him. Then, as soon as I start to put together my list of the things that I can do without him, I am reminded that he is my creator. This means, my ability to work comes from the one who created my muscles and mind in the first place. It also means that my ability to think, act and relate all come from the one who created me in the first place.
I think Jesus is referring to a level deeper than my mind over my muscles. Of course, Jesus is reminding me that he is the creator and I am the creation in this passage. However, I think he is also trying to remind me that I can create no spiritual results of my own efforts! Only spiritual endeavors have lasting consequences. Anything that will have eternal results must come from spiritual work. Ultimately, I believe Jesus is reminding me that I have no ability to impact eternity apart from him. it is only by the power of his Holy Spirit working in me and through me that anything of eternal consequences can happen. Therefore, it is accurate to say that apart from Jesus’s Holy Spirit, I can do nothing. It’s hard for me to admit it, but it’s true – I need his help always! Without the help of the Holy Spirit, I can do nothing!