I am self-sufficient.
As a child I was taught to have a can-do attitude. If it needed doing I would have a go. A problem was an opportunity to learn a new skill.
Our society teaches self-sufficiency as a virtue but there is a danger in independence. It breeds pride and isolation.
It is hard for the independent to receive, even when in need. Our pride doesn’t like to admit that we can’t, that we don’t have, that we’re insufficient. It pushes people away.
Even as a married couple it’s possible to be isolated. It is difficult enough to struggle though hardships, more so to do it alone. The stress will hurt your relationship and weaken you.
You need community. Yes, it will cost as you give yourself to others but it is an investment. One day you will benefit from what you’ve invested in your community.
“A friend loves at all times, and a
brother is born for a time of adversity.”
We all need a “brother” – the friend who will be there in our darkest hour.
The Bible says each person “should carry their own load” (i.e. attend to their own responsibilities) and that we should also “carry each other’s burdens“. We need others to support us in our struggles. To lift us up when we can’t take any more, to encourage and help us keep going.
Over the years I’ve brushed-shoulders with isolated people. They’ve not immersed themselves in community. In some instances it appears they’ve resisted community. From a distance I’ve seen them struggle under the burden of something they should not have to carry alone.
Are you part of a community? Do you have a “band of brothers” to help you through the dark times? When have you benefited from their support? Tell us one of your stories in the comments below – I’ll go first.