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Exposing the dangers of self-reliance

By Dave Henning / December 6, 2018

“Suffering exposes the danger of self-reliance.  It reminds us that we were not designed to live independently but in dependence on God and others.”- Paul David Tripp

As Paul David Tripp concludes Chapter 2 of Suffering, he lists the fifth through seventh things that deepen our pain.

5.  Pride.  Here Pastor Tripp means the pride of self-reliance, not the pride of arrogance.  When you rely on yourself, you take too much credit.  As a result, this always leads to placing too much trust in yourself.

Furthermore, when you live self-reliantly, you panic when the unexpected, the unwanted, or the painful comes your way.  Thus, suffering reminds us that God created us to live in dependence on Him and others.  That was true of Adam and Eve, who began life in a perfect world.

 6.  Materialism.  By materialism, Pastor Tripp’s thinking of our tendency to place most of our security and hope in physical things, not chasing after those things.  The author adds:

“The only place to look for a sturdy well-being of heart is the Creator.  The material things God created can never do for you what only God can do.  When you’ve been asking material things to give you what they were never meant to give, the loss of these things will be an even more crushing blow than the physical loss.”

 7.  Selfism.  This side of eternity, none of us completely escapes the selfism of sin.  Therefore, suffering is more difficult due to what Pastor Tripp calls our heart tendency toward functional me-ism.

In addition, suffering confronts us with the truth that life is about God, not about us – His glory, not ours. Likewise, the crisis of faith often accompanying suffering results as our will and glory collide with God’s will and His glory.

Today’s question: What Scriptures expose the danger of self-reliance for you?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “To the borders of our faith”

About the author

Dave Henning


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