Christianese - God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
Robert TysonMatt is in week 2 of the series "Christianese: Silly Things Christians Say, and the phrase for this week is "God helps those who help themselves." That is a phrase that I have heard since I have been going to church, and truth be told, I have used it in the past. It makes a great self-help phrase since it puts the focus on you and you having to do something in order for God to help you. This was a cultural phrase used by the Greeks and even has been used by Benjamin Franklin, so it must be true - right?
As I stated, I have used it in the past, but I never looked to see what book it was in. It wasn't until I came to Heritage that I learned this wasn't true at all. In fact, it is completely opposite of the truth. But, boy, it sure sounds good, and even sounds spiritual. Matt referenced Isaiah 53:5-6, which states that we have turned, everyone to his own way. We help ourselves, and then God will help us? Religion always points us to something that we have to do. Do we have to pull ourselves up before God will help us up? Solomon stated in Proverbs 14:12 that "There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." This is a great example of this statement. We were separated from God; we were helpless and without hope. We could not help ourselves do anything. We were lost and going to hell but God helped us. He did not leave us to our own devises or schemes. He sent Jesus. Romans 5:8 says "But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." David Magness put it this way; "It's because of what was wrong with us, Christ died for us!" It is plain and simple God made the way where there was no we could save ourselves!! Put your faith in the work that Jesus did.
Then the focus shifted to Christians. What are we doing as Christians to help ourselves and others? We don't like letting others into our inner circle. We keep others at arm's length; we get busy doing work, life, church, meetings, working out and the busyness of life and unlimited other things keep us from engaging in life with other Christians. I firmly believe that Covid was sent to disrupt the Church and disrupt the gathering of God's people. Why you ask? Because, to quote the magician on Frosty the Snowman, I have become "Busy, Busy, Busy." I have become so busy doing other things that I have neglected the gathering of God's people. I have lost focus on the main goal of Christians and the focus of Heritage Church.
Our mission at Heritage is to love others in a way that will make them curious. You can't do that if you are focused on the rat race of life. We are to do life together, which helps us build bonds that can't be broken. We are to love others. I remember as a young child, we would go see Uncle Lake and Aunt Suzie. They lived out in the country, and their house was off the road about 100 yards. When we would turn onto their driveway, we could see Uncle Lake start heading towards the house. It did not matter what he was doing; he always stopped and went to the house. Aunt Suzie was the same way. They both dropped everything and focused on us. We were the most important thing to them at the time. No worries about what they were not doing, no worries about what they had to do, no worries about getting the garden planted so they would be able to eat. They just focused on loving us unconditionally, without wanting anything in return. There was never a doubt that they loved us! They would stand out in the yard and wave as we drove off. Not sometimes, but every time we left, you could still see them waving as we turned back onto the main road.
You see, I have been given a great example and a great testimony of how to show love. Looking back, my cell phone has become a distraction. I have noticed that I have it out when family and friends are over. Instead of focusing on loving them, I would catch myself focusing on technology. I would never say that this message was for all Christians or even some Christians, as Matt hit the nail squarely on the head. This message was a good reminder of the pitfall of busyness, and it was meant for me. I am praying that you recognize the dangers of busyness and focus on loving others and that you spend time resting in the finished work of Christ.