I can still picture the cursive writing on the book. “Standing Alone,” it read. That appealed to me. I didn’t want a normal teenage life. I wanted something different. Something with meaning. Maybe you relate. Since different wasn’t the norm, of course that would mean standing alone.
It sounded heroic.
I opened it and started to learn about holiness. About being set apart for God. About being used for special purposes, honorable use rather than common use.
“Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” 2 Timothy 2:20-21 ESVI thought being set apart meant I had to fight alone. But this isn’t true! We are set apart to be near God, and we are not the only ones in the world who are set apart. There is a body of other believers seeking to live in holiness. Click To Tweet
But here’s the thing. At some point, I started to swing to an extreme. I began to think that standing alone meant that I had to be self-sufficient. I resisted receiving. I resisted help. I thought that being set apart meant that I had to fight alone.
Friends, this isn’t true! We are set apart to be near God.
We are also not the only ones in the world who are set apart. There is a body of other believers seeking to live in holiness.
Today, I want to talk about accepting care from those around us.
3 Things That Prevent Us From Receiving
This is one of my biggest struggles. I want people to think well of me. I want people to like me. I want to have it all together all the time. Receiving means admitting that I need help. It means letting people see my weakness and my mess.
Accepting from others requires a certain level of trust. It means opening ourselves up to condemnation or disappointment. When we don’t know exactly what someone will do it can be scary to allow yourself to accept care from them.
3. Lack of awareness
When we aren’t aware of our own weakness or even the things that need to be done, we don’t even know we need to ask for help, even if pride and fear are not a reason. My dad loves to say, “Maturity is being aware.”
3 Reasons We Should Ask For Help
1. Allowing others to serve is loving
God created us to love each other. All of us, not just you or me. But our family and friends and community. When we choose to resist or reject their love for us, we’re not allowing them to obey God and do what they were created to do.
It is easy to think that not allowing people to help us is somehow helping them, but it isn’t. It is loving to them to let them love us when they are trying to.
2. Grow in humility
Admitting our weaknesses and allowing those with strengths in different areas that ours to help us is a great way to grow in humility and gratitude. It is hard. I get it. I get this pit in my stomach every time I have to swallow my pride and allow someone to help me. But slowly, I’m learning to let go of the way people see me and be more humble through authenticity.
3. It is how God created usGod created us to be in community and relationship. When we try to be self-sufficient, we are going against the grain of how God made the world. Click To Tweet
God created us to be in community and relationship. He said “it is not good that the man should be alone.” When we try to be self-sufficient, we are going against the grain of how God made the world. It’s like trying to eat soup with a fork. It might be possible with a lot of excess work, but it really isn’t functional or sustainable.
2 Ways To Receive
1. Ask for help
Receiving help when people offer it is a great start. But we don’t have to wait around hoping someone will offer. We can choose to be humble and outright ask for help and express our needs to those around us. If they choose not to do something, that is outside of our control and we don’t ask expected people to be at our beck and call. But often, people don’t even know what we need care in . . . especially if we pretend we have it all together all the time.
2. Say thank you
A huge part of receiving is our attitude. When we are able to practice gratitude — both verbally and in our hearts — it can help us combat pride and fear. It also is a way to honor those who are caring for us. Receiving should never come from an attitude of entitlement, but of humility and gratitude.
Friend, I get it. This is challenging. But you don’t have to be alone as you fight to live set apart. Today, what do you need? Who can you invite in?