Posts Tagged ‘interdependence’


Before we go any further, I want to tell you what this post is not. It’s not a patriotic or political post. Politics have been done to death and my life is so much happier since I’ve started pushing them further and further off the front burner of my life. It’s also not in any way bagging on America. I consider having been born and raised in the U.S. to be one of the great blessings God has given me. Independence Day is the day we celebrate the U.S. breaking free from England and becoming a sovereign nation and while this nation is far from flawless, it’s still a good place to live and grow and raise a family and not matter your views on immigration, there are a lot of people taking great risks to be here. I appreciate this land… but that’s not what I am talking about.

See there’s a downside to independence. No not the freedoms we enjoy in this nation, but in this idea that so many people carry that they’re independent and they don’t need anyone else. That can be a huge problem and it is not the way God designed us to be. No friends we were not created for independence. We were created for relationships. Thing about the body of Christ image from 1 Corinthians 12. Paul writes about how all these parts (people) come together to form one cohesive whole, a church that represents Christ to the world. We’re diverse and different, but when we bring those differences together and we each bring our best to the table and work together, we can do things that we could never accomplish independently. In the case we were not created for independence, but rather interdependence, depending on each other to do more together than we could ever do apart. As creatives, this plays out every time we collaborate or work with others in any way. One of the great freedoms we can find in the creative life is when we realize we don’t do everything well and allow ourselves to “out-source” our weaknesses to those for whom our weaknesses are strengths.

And then there’s the other element to be considered. We were also created to be totally and completely dependent on God. What did Jesus say? “Apart from me you can do nothing…” This is the truth of our existence as human beings. Whether we know it or not, whether we choose to believe it or not, we depend on God for everything from the air we breathe, to the world we walk on. When we acknowledge our dependence it frees us from having to solve and control everything and that may be the greatest freedom there is.

Celebrate your independence, but don’t forget to revel in your interdependence and the relationships it can create and, of course, never forget your total dependence on God, because in all of this we find true freedom.

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Well today, if everything goes according to plan, I’m spending most of the day in my van. My prayer is that I”m speeding (at a responsible, legal level) across the states of Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. That’s the plan, Lord willing. I was a little hesitant to try to make the whole trip today, because holidays can be less than fun travel days, but I want to get home, I miss my family and a family at church needs me, so here I go.

It’s the fourth of July, or as we call it here in America, Independence Day. It’s the day we declared our independence from what was at time an oppressive regime. While I value our national independence, I’m not a big fan of some forms of independence. Maybe I’m not saying that right. Let me see if I can say it better. We Americans value our independence, and when it comes to a lot of things, that is okay, but when it comes to our lives as individuals, independence is something of an illusion, especially for Christians. You see when it comes to God, we are anything but independent. We are totally dependent on God and we ignore that at our peril. We depend on Him for everything from the air we breathe to the ground upon which we stand. There is not a moment of our lives when we are not dependent on our sovereign Lord.

But wait, there’s more. When it comes to community and especially church we are also anything but independent. Think about it, for everything you can do, there are a thousand things you can’t. For example, I was talking to a retired E.R. nurse the other day, who was relating a story about one of her first experiences in her career. Suffice it to say, I would have been passed out on the floor. God made her able to do what I cannot, and as a result I am glad there are people like her around. People who can do what I cannot. I’m sure, were our conversation longer, we would have found somethingI can do that she cannot and that’s sort of the point. God did not make any of us completely independent. Rather he made us interdependent, so that, in addition to depending on Him, we would also have to depend on each other. That way we will respect and maybe even love each other. It seems that’s pretty important to Him. “They will know you are my disciples by the way you love one another…” remember! “We are many parts but one body…” We need to remember that one too.

So today as we celebrate our independence as a nation, let us also celebrate the God we can depend on completely and all the wonderful people God has put into our lives who do what we cannot and who in the process make life very, very rich.