“I just really hate asking people to do things for me.”
“I’m good, but thanks.”
“Oh it’s okay; I’ve got it.”
Does this sound like someone you know? Have you used any of these sentences yourself in the past week? Recently, I’ve heard these phrases many times, and I’ve thought them myself. We don’t want to ask people for help, taking pride in our [supposed] self-sufficiency. We don’t like asking for help, but we’re happy when other people need our help because it makes us feel important.
Recently, when reading Scripture I keep seeing instances of God’s people boldly asking for things, in faith, according to God’s will. In Genesis 50, Joseph asks Pharaoh for permission to travel with protection across the expansive kingdom of Egypt. That’s a huge question! Joseph asked this to fulfill his father’s request of a burial place in accordance with God’s promises (see Gen. 49). Today, we feel obligated to fulfill people’s requests by ourselves. However, Joseph goes straight to the leader of all of Egypt to request assistance.
Thousands of years later, Paul asks something of his readers in Romans. In verse 30 of chapter 15, Paul requests that his readers “join [him] in [his] struggle by praying to God for [him].” Paul occupied a position of leadership over his audience, and yet he asked them to pray for him. How often do church leaders today feel comfortable directly requesting prayer for themselves from the congregation/ group they are leading?
In an effort to be humble and in a fear of being needy, modern Christians idolize self-sufficiency to the point where we feel as if asking for help is a personal failure. However, asking for help is a healthy and natural part of functioning as the Body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 12:12, God reminds his people that “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” The body is a cohesive unit, composed of hundreds of individual parts that work together as an integrated and effective whole. The fact that the parts of our bodies work together does not diminish the value of each individual part; it highlights the unity and diversity of the One who created and designed our bodies in the first place.
When we as a Church grow so stubborn as to refuse to work together and accept help from one another, we are denying the Spirit’s unifying work in the Body of Christ, and forfeiting the peace that comes alongside of His unity (see Eph. 4:1-3). The unity of the Body reflects the unity of God, but how can the world see an accurate reflection of God if his people are scattered?
“But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.” –1 Corinthians 12:18-20
We’re designed to work with each other, not independently of one another. We all live to fulfill God’s singular purpose as a whole, not to check off individual lists alone.
Can I ask us to try something? When someone offers help, let’s be humble enough to take it. When we receive help, let’s be grateful instead of guilty. God designed us to work together, and when we do that, we grow closer to each other and bring Him glory in the process.
Let’s act like the Body He died for us to be.