The Sure Sign of Self-Sufficiency

Two Sundays ago, as a young boy in our church was showing me his Star Wars Legos, he told me he wants to buy a Star Wars ship that costs $60. ?I asked how much he?d saved.

?Twelve dollars,? he said.

?Well, when you get up to $59, tell me and I?ll give you the last dollar.?

A few minutes later, I went back to him and said, ?You know what? ?I?ll give you a dollar now instead of making you wait till later.? ?A huge smile spread across his face as he stared wide-eyed at the dollar bill.

A week later, last Sunday, as soon as he saw me, he made a beeline to me and asked, ?Can you give me $38.00??

?What?? ?I asked. ??I just gave you a dollar last week, and now you?re coming and asking me for $38??

Undaunted, he said, ?Well, can you give me $50??

So I said, ?Sure. ?First you give me three little $20 bills, then I?ll give you a great big $50 bill.? ?He wrinkled his brow, and pursed his lips, pondering. ?After a few seconds he asked, ?How about if you give me $70??

What?s great about children is that when they want something they ask. ?They usually aren?t afraid to ask their parents for anything they?d like. ?Jesus told us to come to our Heavenly Father and ask, seek and knock, boldly and persistently. ?Yet so often we try everything else first.

We tackle situations with our children without seeking God?s wisdom. ?We try to push through hard times on our own. ?We?ll figure it out. ?We can solve this. ?Rather than ask God for help, we try live by our wits.

Why do we do this? ?Because we?re self-sufficient.

We don?t rely on God. ?We say we need him, but often act as if we don?t.

The sure sign of self-sufficiency is prayerlessness.

James says, ?You do not have because you do not ask? (4.2). You lack strength because you don?t pray for it. ?You lack joy because you don?t ask Jesus to fill you. ?You lack wisdom because you don?t seek it from God. ?When we?re self-sufficient, we don?t pray, and we don?t receive.

So be like a child. ?Ask God for whatever you need. ?He won?t refuse you $38 if it?s his will and for his glory.

photo by

Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.