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Self-Sufficiency Myth

Anchor Devotional - 11.13.18

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:5

My daughter recently bought a pet cockatiel named Peanut who did not seem fond of her new owner. The bird bit my daughter and was hostile to everyone who tried to hold her. My daughter was advised to have Peanut’s wings clipped, forcing the bird to feel more dependent. The change was dramatic! Now Peanut is pleasant to everyone and even cuddles up to my daughter.

Like Peanut, I may think that I can do everything on my own—including making my sinful heart right with God. I think that I can save myself by following God’s commands (2 Corinthians 3:5), by crediting my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), by relying on my financial ability (Luke 12:16-21), or by trusting in my physical strength (Psalm 73:26).

Since my stroke, I can’t even climb a ladder to change a light bulb, shovel an icy walkway, or drive a car, so I do often feel like a bird with its wings clipped.

But ongoing suffering crushes the myth of self- sufficiency. It deepens the truth that our “help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2).

Scripture Focus

John 15:1-8


“As many have learned and later taught, you don’t realize Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.” (Tim Keller, 2008)

Read the Bible

  • Ezekiel 5-6
  • Psalm 133
  • Galatians 3-4