Becoming Dependent.Posted: June 10, 2011
(This is the third installment in a blog series on How People Grow).
The word “dependent” is kind of a bad word for most of us.
First of all, it’s not good to have a dependence on some sort of substance. That would be addiction. And second of all, it’s not good to depend on people, because we are supposed to learn how to get by on our own, and people are often undependable or untrustworthy.
And as Americans, our forefathers stressed the importance of independence. Other famous writers and politicians stressed things like self-reliance and pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps. We celebrate people who do their own thing, and accomplish great feats all by themselves. Cowboys and Rebels without Causes are awesome because they’re loners who ride off into the sunset on their horses and in their cars.
This may be one of those romantic and intrinsic values that permeates all of society. It may seem kind of cool, and desirable, somehow. It may also make life appear nice and neat, cut-and-dry, easier to deal with.
But it isn’t good. In fact, it is the opposite of good. It can be harmful.
When God created us, he knew we depended on some basic things to get by. And no, these things weren’t familiar symbols of independence. There weren’t any bald eagles, or cowboy hats or anything.
We need God.
We need others.
It needs to be in that order, because like I already mentioned, people have their own issues. But we depend on both of those God and others just as much as we depend on food and water to live.
When we rely on ourselves, and try to live in a vacuum of us-ness, we are pretty sad creatures. Even the most seemingly independent people had to rely on other people at some point in their lives. And really, a lot of people are leading sad, confused, and messy lives just because they think they can get by on their own power.
Part of growth as a person begins when we acknowledge that we not only need God’s and other people’s help, but that we also completely depend on it.