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"I'm Good": The Danger
of Self-Sufficiency

Posted on November 7, 2023

There is an attitude today that has invaded the lives of many Christians. This attitude often manifests itself with two words: “I’m good.” This attitude comes out even more in a Christian’s actions. “I don’t feel like reading my Bible today.” “I don’t have time to pray today.” “I’m too busy to go to church.” In other words, this person thinks that he is “good” without doing these things. He doesn’t believe them to be necessary. We could say that he has a “meh” attitude toward these things. 


The atheists have a slogan: “Good without God.” That’s a sad statement, but it’s even more sad when Christians—by their actions—say they are good without God. This is the attitude of self-sufficiency. “I don’t need God.” That’s what self-sufficiency says. Well, Christian, you might as well become an atheist—because you are living just like one! 


I think we would agree that the Apostle Paul was a very committed Christian. God used him to do extraordinary things with the life he had. Yet Paul did not have a self-sufficient attitude. He was completely dependent on God. Notice what he said: “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (I Cor. 15:10). Paul was dependent on the grace of God, and he recognized that God’s grace had allowed him to faithfully minister and serve beyond what others were able to do. 


The danger of self-sufficiency is that we will never make any progress for God. Also, God does not use “I’m good” Christians. Notice what Jesus said about the church of the Laodiceans: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing…” (Rev. 3:17a). In other words, they were saying “I’m good.” But were they really? Not according to Jesus: “…and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (v. 17b). Another danger of self-sufficiency is that it’s not true. You’re not good without God! You absolutely need Him! Just because we feel good and life is going our way does not mean we don’t need God. 


Here’s the final nail in the coffin. Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). The analogy is clear. A branch is completely dependent on the vine. Without the vine, the branch will wither and die. The self-sufficient Christian is like a withered branch. He will bear no fruit for God. “I’m good,” he says. “You’re useless,” says Christ, the Vine. 


We need God every moment of every day. We must spend time with Him in His Word and prayer every day. We must be faithful to go to church—so much the more (Heb. 10:25). We must be faithful to love others and share the gospel. And amidst it all, we must be completely dependent on God for grace and strength. Cast away your self-sufficiency. You can do nothing without Christ. May we faithfully abide in Him. 

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