I don’t need God.
That’s a belief I held for a long time. I figured I could manage just fine without a “crutch” like God. But slowly I realized that was a lie. It’s like saying a car doesn’t need an engine. Or that “weak” planes use wings to fly. Cars are designed to have engines. Planes are designed to have wings. And I am designed to have a relationship with God.
It took me a long time to wrap my mind around that.
I’ve always been very self-sufficient. The truth is, I still am. It’s this self-sufficiency that has become one of the biggest stresses in being unemployed. I feel like I don’t contribute enough to the Kingdom. It bothers me that I can’t financially give like I used to. I think, “I am educated, socially mobile, I should be creating resources, not being unemployed receiving help from friends. Not letting other people by me a drink or pick up the tab at dinner.”
There’s a part of me that still says, “I don’t need God.”
That realization shocks me.
We are all in desperate need of God’s resources. None of us are above needing his help. So why do I feel so superior and want to fight that? Why do I want to say, “no thanks, I’m good.” Why do I want to say, “God needs to redirect resources to people who ‘really’ need them, not me.”
Pride, of course, is the answer. It’s what CS Lewis called, “the complete anti-God state of mind.” That’s why I feel these things. I want to believe that I am better than I am.
Pride has a way of warping your view. The reality is I’m probably more actively engaged in the kingdom than I have been for years. Every day I need to rely on God to get through the challenges unemployment offers. I have to rely on God that somehow I will earn / find / receive enough money to pay the bills. And because of that I finally am beginning to understand what the Bible means by describing God as “faithful.”
That couldn’t have been said for a year ago. That’s a significant difference in my life.
I doubt God cares very much for the financial impact of my giving or the financial impact of me not working when it’s compared against the changes I am receiving from advancing the kingdom. What is my money compared to a life transformed?
But pride is a tricky beast. As I said, it warps your view. If you allow it, your pride will even warp your view of yourself. As CS Lewis points out in Mere Christianity, “it was through pride that the devil became the devil.” If pride can do that to the devil, it can happen to us.
If I learn nothing else from being unemployed, I will be satisfied with this lesson. It will have been worth it to realize that in all situations, at all time, I need God. And so do you.