JR. Forasteros - April 5, 2020

Laodicea: The Self-Sufficient Church

Under Pressure

How much of our life actually involves Jesus? Is he essential or a mascot? The church at Laodicea paid Jesus lip service, but when he came to town, they left him out in the cold. On this Palm Sunday, how can we be sure we're welcoming Jesus as our lord, not ignoring him?

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Many of you know that I had knee surgery a couple of months ago – I tore my ACL and had to get a replacement. Leading up to the procedure, I was super nervous. It wasn’t my surgeon – he’s one of the best in the Metroplex, by all accounts. And it wasn’t the fact that it was my very first surgical procedure ever. I wasn’t freaked out about going under anesthesia or anything like that.

What made me nervous was the recovery. They told me I was going to be non-weight-bearing for 6 weeks (it only ended up being 2, but I didn’t know that until I woke up). I had an idea of what non-weight bearing was going to mean – every single thing in my life, from showering and using the restroom to preparing food to doing work to sleeping – all of it was going to be harder than it used to be. (And I didn’t have a clue how hard it was actually going to be, which is probably for the best.)

I’m a really self-sufficient person. I don’t like to ask for help. (Can anyone here relate?)

And I knew that over the next couple of months, I was going to have to ask for help, to rely on other people for pretty much everything. And that level of debilitation was pretty scary for me.

Which, when I say it that way, sounds pretty stupid, doesn’t it? I was afraid to ask for help. Afraid to need other people.

I had seen over the last couple of years that this self-sufficiency was a problem in my life, a spiritual red flag God wanted me to address. So in my anxiety approaching my surgery, I made a decision to welcome my helplessness as a spiritual practice.

I need to learn to be less self-sufficient. To admit my need for other people. This is a spiritual practice.

In fact, though self-sufficiency is a deeply held American virtue, it is poison for our spiritual lives. God didn’t create us to be self-sufficient. God designed us to need and to be needed, to love and to be loved.

This is hard. Really hard. So hard that it might take a debilitating surgery to teach some of us that lesson.

When we begin to learn how to need, we find a new beauty and freedom we never imagined possible.

Join us Sunday as we learn to find freedom in dependency.

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