blog--2014-02--individualityWhen 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.

24 thoughts on “On Truth and Independence…

  1. I had never thought of independence that in quite that way; what a cool thought! I can all to easily tend towards unhealthy independence because I like to take care of mySELF thank you very much! Letting God’s truth cut through the mist of lies and excuses is something that I am working on getting better at; I’m sick of the lies!

    1. Lina, thanks for sharing your words! I have traversed the plains of self-dependence and am finding my inner longing for deep community crying out! Keep on keeping on in seeking truth. God bless.

  2. Great blog! Thank you for sharing your #TRUTH! We need to focus on His truth in our lives – who He is and how He created us to be. In every situation, look for His truth and you can’t go wrong.
    Blessing! – Christina (Group 50)

    1. Christina, thanks for stopping by! Those two things you mention are so central: Who He is, and how He created us to be. As we can nail that, there’s nothing stopping the Spirit doing His thing in our lives!

  3. This is so true. I teach a Kindergarten and First Grade Combo Class. All day I find myself encouraging the students to find this balance. The boys and girls are so used to Mom doing everything for them, that they need to exercise initiative and be intentional to do things themselves. However, there are plenty of times throughout the day when they work in groups or get stuck on a problem. Then they need to ask for help. The problems change as an adult, but we still need to walk the same fine line.

    1. Judy, I am laughing. I work with college students and I find myself teaching the same lessons you do! And yet God is teaching me the same lessons. Seems we might never grow out of some learning tracks, eh? Thank you for sharing!

  4. I wanted to click like, but could not find where to do that, so I’m leaving a comment instead 🙂 Great post!! I find that in everything there is balance. I’ve been too open, got hurt. Then too shut off. God has been teaching me how to share and be in healthy community relationships. As in many things, this seems to be a journey of learning for me! Thanks for sharing and may God bless you!!

    1. Jane, thanks for leaving your words! (Maybe I’ll figure out how to add the “like” function. Maybe. 🙂 ) Your story sounds very much like my own, pendulum swinging. I hope to settle the swinging in that balance you mention. Keep on keeping on!

  5. Greetings Jennifer,
    As you say, truth is the parameter by which we should assess our situation and I am thankful for your post today, It is awe-inspired by God and full of His wisdom. I think that our need for community and our ability to be independent is a gift from God and I am learning how to balance these two things by drawing closer to Him and hiding His word in my heart. I really enjoyed your post and I look forward to reading more of them in the future. You are being used by God to teach His truth to all of us so that we can live abundantly.

    1. Roberta, thank you for your encouraging words. Whatever is good is Him! I appreciate your statement “I am learning how to balance these two things by drawing closer to Him and hiding His word in my heart.” Amazing how He creates community through the solitary seeking that we may seek Him communally as well! Thank yo for sharing your heart.

  6. Thank you; my favorite part is the last two sentences: “Be confident enough to make individual decisions. Be vulnerable enough to do life with people.”

  7. Love your insight on independence. I needed this lesson today. I can be so independent and now my grown kids are too and sometimes it is like ouch, but I am learning FINALLY to let my husband help with chores around here. Thanks so much for sharing. Debbie W. (OBS Team Leader)

    1. Thanks for popping in, Debbie! I’ve trudged through that unhealthy independence so often and am so appreciative that asking for help doesn’t mean weakness.

  8. I love this post! I do find it a challenge to balance community with independence. I’m a work in progress with that 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Vicky! It seems a common theme. Funny how community can point out our independence issue!

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