When confused or frustrated, I often ask myself, “What do I know to be true?” This cuts through the fog, the what-if’s and the chaos. For often, suppositions and assumptions cloud an issue. What I know to be true usually ends up being from scripture and the regarding the character of God. For when the world shifts, He is Truth, and I know Him to be true.
What I also know to be true is that He built us for community. He created us that we would enjoy each other, challenge each other, and learn from each other. There is healthy independence: we want people to be able to make good decisions without succumbing to unhealthy pressure.
But the flip side is this: unhealthy independence exists too. Thinking you can do everything on your own, or worse, thinking you have to do everything on your own is trouble. Worn out, tired, and believing yourself to be alone in your situation will lead you no where good.
Whatever the challenge, be careful of the independence you use. If your challenge is health related, healthy independence means choosing the apple when your friend chooses the muffin to go with your coffee date. Unhealthy independence is canceling the coffee date because your friend always gets the muffin. If the challenge is finding work, healthy independence means choosing to go for positions that fit your skills and abilities even if it means a big change. Unhealthy independence means never accepting others’ offers to help edit, review, or read your materials.
Truth be told, independence is neither all good nor all bad. The truth is that we need each other. And the truth is that we are independent from each other. Jesus needed the Father in order to carry out the Father’s will. We need Jesus in our lives and the Holy Spirit in our hearts to do the same. Independence is neither all good nor all bad. Be confident enough to make individual decisions. Be vulnerable enough to do life with people.