Have you ever needed help, but did not want to ask for it? We’ve all been there. My two year old lives there, “No I do it!” is her new favorite phrase. I think I know where she gets it from.
I come from a long line of very independent people. We have a tendency to make up our minds on where we’re going, head in that direction, and then it really doesn’t matter after that because the course is charted and the destination is known. This trait is at times a great asset and at other times an even bigger liability. It’s helpful in those moments when you are set on accomplishing the plan that the Lord has charted for you. No matter what opposes you, quitting isn’t an option. However, the times this attitude can leave its mark on your memory is when you have convinced yourself that you are going to prove the world wrong no matter what.
Like the time I took an advanced managerial accounting course my junior year of college. On the first day of class the professor let us know that in order to run the massive schedules of data and numbers that the homework problems required we would need to buy an advanced accounting calculator. The calculator we had been using since freshmen year could accomplish the task, but the process would become too lengthy and the risk of error would highly increase. I immediately took offense on behalf of my calculator. This piece of equipment and I had gone through a great deal together. We had navigated freshmen accounting, we had survived statistics, we became intercessory prayer partners with quantitative analysis, and now with one simple sentence I’m supposed to abandon my dear friend and pretend that it didn’t happen? Not hardly! I would prove the professor wrong. Forget the fact he’d taught the class for 15 years and had a PHD in the field, I knew better! My mind was made up, my course was charted, bring it on! However, three weeks later after the first exam I was in line at Radio Shack asking the guy behind the counter if they had any of the advanced calculators left.
The real problem with always striving to be totally independent is that you can’t. None of us were designed to be. We were created as relational beings. God made us in such a way that we work much better together than we ever do apart. He has allowed experiences and back grounds to be our unique information pool which we can apply to a given situation that will then help others understand something they had never considered before. The challenge is not to be so “independent” that you lose the opportunity of being dependent upon others in areas where you are weak. This is why the New Testament in the book of Ephesians made it clear that we are a body.
Like any human body it doesn’t attempt to destroy and separate itself from a weakness. On the contrary, it uses other areas of strength to protect it and then attempts to work on the weak area until it is strong enough to stand on its own again. The good thing about the natural man is that our minds are designed to get the entire body involved in protecting itself without asking the rest of the body for permission. When you get something in your eye your hands immediately cover the eye, not pluck it out. You begin to do whatever you can to protect the area because you don’t want the problem to get worse. It’s not like the brain called the hands and the hands said, “We’re busy today can you make an appointment for tomorrow?”
The challenge with the body of Christ is that while Christ is the head of the body, we as members of the body are responsible for two very important things when it comes to receiving help. First, the member in need of help must ask for it. No one can know how to help you until you are willing to tell them what you need. Secondly, other members must answer this call and help the way that Christ wants us to. The one thing that this requires is that we refuse to be so independent that we cannot be dependent upon one another, and in doing so fulfill the request of our Savior before the Father when He prayed, “that they maybe one even as You and I are one, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:21)
We need each other and it’s ok to ask for help!