When I was growing up, my dad had a saying, "God helps those who help themselves." Since the age of the internet, or more accurately, the age of angry, offended bloggers, has occurred, this saying has made countless lists of "things Christians should never say," and "things that aren't actually in the Bible," etc, etc. It has caused quite a tizzy.
But here's the thing, and I can't stress this enough, no one ever said it was in the Bible.
This saying, along with the idea that one must "work as though they depend solely upon themselves, and pray as though they depend solely upon the Lord," have never been represented as quotes from the Bible, that I have seen. That's the thing about sayings. They aren't direct quotes. They are things that people say. Now, does this saying apply to absolutely everything? Like most sayings, no, it does not. I was raised to believe that it is specific to working toward a goal, or working hard. Does this mean that God will give you anything you want, as long as you work for it? No, and I was never led to believe that was true either.
You can take from it what you will, and people may still be upset and offended by it, but let me tell you what it means to me.
It means that God is not a genie in the sky granting wishes. It means that God has given us free will, gifts, talents, and abilities to take action and carry out the plans He has for us. It means that we must not sit, idly by, in hopes that God will make all our dreams come true. There are most definitely times to sit and pray, and wait on the Lord. There is great power in patience and great wisdom in waiting.
However, when God has given us the gifts/abilities/resources to take action, and we sit on our hands waiting for Him to do everything for us, we cannot cry that He hasn't helped us. We cannot blame Him for our failures, if we do nothing. The Bible may never specifically say, "God helps those who help themselves," and it may not always be an applicable saying, but there is no shortage of verses referencing labor and hard work, and the pitfalls of laziness.
Labor Day has a very interesting history, if you want to look it up, but ultimately, it is a day to celebrate the workers of our nation.
"Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country." ~United States Department of Labor
For centuries, people forced changes into the world, their country, the economy, and their own lives by working. There is something to be said for hard work and dedication.
Have you been asking God to change something in your life? Or help you with a goal? Try asking Him how He would have you work toward that goal or that change. I would never tell you to act without Him, but pray for guidance. He may have already given you the gifts you need to take action.
Don't miss your blessings while waiting for God to do it all. Sometimes God answers our prayers, by requiring us to take action. Action can be hard work. Hard work can sometimes be painful, but like the blessings of childbirth, life can spring forth with abundant blessings!
As a wife, mom of 4, and business owner, finding time to spend in the Word, can be difficult, so I get it! Come join me each Monday for a simple message of hope, faith, and encouragement amidst some honest mommy moments.
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