The Self-Sufficient Epidemic

May 03, 2016

I was scrolling through Pinterest and started feeling extremely self-conscious, self-aware, and full of doubt.

I couldn’t figure out what the problem was until a few days later when I experienced the same exact feelings: I got a little moody, a little frustrated, and definitely unhappy with myself and who I am as a person.

I recognized those same feelings from the previous day and started to really look at what was coming up in my Pinterest feed and it was a lot of this:
a.) why I was failing at eating healthy.
b.) how I should be using social media to my advantage instead of merely for pleasure.
c.) why I need to write, sell, and market an e-course to become a millionaire instead of working the typical job and why I haven’t been able to be successful like Ms. X, Mrs. Y, and Mr. Z.
d.) how to organize my life in order to have more me-time.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I really enjoy self-help books, tutorials, and becoming a better person in general. But all of the posts that seemed to be flooding my Pinterest feed were filled with so much negativity! They made me feel like I needed to be better because I was such a failure at what I was already doing — or not doing. As I pondered on this new revelation on how obsessed our culture is with the self-help movement, I realized just how important it is for us as intentional, Apostolic women to be completely focused on being dependent on Jesus.

I’m a pretty modern-day girl, I’ll admit. I’m twenty-eight, I’m not married, I own my own business, I rarely rely on others to do things for me. I want something done? I do it. (Most of the time, anyway — unless it has to do with spiders and bees. Or walls need to be painted. Or my car needs its oil changed. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.) I have become self-sufficient because that is what my generation has promoted, fought for, and longed to be. I have become self-sufficient because I’m not married and I’ve learned to live on my own terms with my own income. I have become self-sufficient because I’m an adult woman in a world where women reign supreme and have won at the game of politics, social justice, and careers.

Yet in a world that is inherently humanistic, vain, and self-righteous, I have become acutely aware of my own humanity and shortcomings.

Because I most definitely am NOT self-sufficient.

And this realization that I am not self-sufficient doesn’t actually have anything to do with the fact that life is never going to be Instagram-worthy every hour of the day. I know that the e-Courses that seem to be taking every blog by storm are not the greatest calling of my life. Just because I eat something with sugar in it every now and then doesn’t mean I’m losing control over my life! But it has everything to do with the fact that I am nothing, and can be nothing, without Jesus.

Because, My Darling, I am not self-sufficient because I am entirely dependent upon Jesus. He is my sustenance, He is my sufficiency. On my own, I am simply a human being breathing air and existing, but nothing more.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

{II Corinthians 12:9-10, KJV}

Even when I am at my very weakest and when I am less self-sufficient than I ever have been, that is when I am made strong in Jesus. It is when I am the least self-sufficient that He can be glorified in my life. It is when I am broken that He is Whole. It is when I am uncertain that He can speak and I will listen.

When your strength is gone, Darling, when you don’t have the will to fight anymore, Jesus is your Victor. He has already fought for you, and in your weakness, He will be your strength. In your insufficiency, He is sufficient. He is enough for you.

When you feel like you can’t take another step, you can. Because Jesus carried the weight of your burdens with the cross that He carried for you — you’ve already won, let Him carry you just a little further. He is sufficient for you.

But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

{Isaiah 40:31 NLT}

There is no need to be self-sufficient, for His grace is sufficient for you. HIS grace, My Darling. His grace.

We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.

{Isaiah 64:6 NLT}

We’re not righteous, neither you nor I. We’re never good enough. And here’s the thing: we’ll never actually be good enough. Our positive qualities, self-help remedies, our desire to do well does not make us pure in the eyes of Jesus. Our peace of mind isn’t found in the amount of plastic we recycle; our life worth isn’t measured by the amount of successful DIYs we complete; our happiness can’t be bought with giving away crazy amounts of stuff in an effort to achieve a minimalist lifestyle; our sufficiency and efficiency are not measured by how much we give, or do, or become.

His grace is my help — his grace is my strength — his grace is greater than my fear and self-doubt. Grace that is greater than every single one of my sins. The self-help section of the bookstore will still be around. The WebMD-type websites will continue to tell you what’s wrong with every part of your body. The Blog Queens will continue to tell you why you’re failing to be the perfect mother, daughter, wife, sister, and friend. But it doesn’t matter, not really.

So the next time you’re feeling less than perfect or like you need to be more self-sufficient, remember this: Jesus is your portion and it is His grace that brings your life meaning and purpose.

The next time you’re scrolling through Instagram, Pinterest, or your favorite blogs, remember this: you are sufficient in the Grace and Love and Hope of Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior.

His grace really is sufficient — and oh-so-much-more more sufficient than you could ever be on your own!