I Can Do It On My Own
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Every addict, at one time or another, when faced with the threat of treatment, has insisted that he can quit on his own. I was no different. Despite the fact that I tried – and failed – a thousand times to get sober, I still told myself that I didn’t need outside help. I can quit if I really want to. I just don’t want to stop today. I’ll quit tomorrow . . .
Maybe it doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol, but most of us have been here. We all find ourselves in desperate need of outside help at some point in our lives. Most of us though, have that need long before we’re willing to admit it. We tell ourselves that it’s not that bad and that we can handle it. We embrace the lie of self-sufficiency, prolonging our failure and misery.
It’s no different with faith. Previously, Paul insisted that everyone needs God because everyone fails and falls short of who they were created to be. In today’s passage, Paul wrote of the blessed hope we have though, because, even in our failure, God loved us and sent his son to provide a path back to God.
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We’ve done nothing to earn God’s love. He just loves us – despite our failures. Not only does God’s love us in our failure, but it is in our failure that we must receive him. As long as we think we’re fine on our own, we’ll remain incapable of experiencing him. It’s only in recognizing this truth – that we desperately need God – that we’re able to find blessed transformation.
The lie of self-sufficiency is the same for us as it is for the practicing addict. When we think we’re good on our own, we’re incapable of living by faith. We may believe in God, but as long as we think we’re just fine, we cannot truly rely on him. It is only in admitting our struggle, failure, and desperate need that we may experience God’s redeeming love for us.
This isn’t just a one-time thing. When I got sober, I didn’t stop needing God. As soon as I begin thinking that I’ve got life all figured out, that’s when I’m in the most danger of relapse. I need God today just as much as I did in the disaster of my addiction.