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Healthy Responsibility

“He who trusts in himself is lost. He who trusts in God can do all things.”

St. Alphonsus Liguori

My need to be responsible and not let others help was first displayed when I was five years old. The night before my last day of first grade, I broke my wrist while roller skating. During our end-of-the-year party, my teacher offered to remove my popsicle wrapper. I refused her help. After struggling to try to get the paper off, I humbly asked for her help. Even back then, if I thought something was my responsibility, my pride would prevent me from allowing others to help.

Pride gets in the way of relationships. When we receive help from others, it affirms them, they feel needed, and our dependence on them builds trust, which is foundational in relationships. The greater the trust, the closer the relationship will be.

God gently revealed that my unhealthy form of responsibility was a lack of trust and a control issue. When I want to be in control it’s as if I’m saying, I only trust myself. He never reveals sin to shame us; only to heal, set us free, and restore relationships. God showed me how my control, being overly responsible and lacking trust were like prison doors, keeping me locked behind my false self, preventing me from being who He created me to be. Instead, if I chose to trust God, allow Him to take control of the reigns, and let Him be responsible for the outcomes, then my yoke will be easy, and my burden will be light (Matthew 11:30).

Responsibilities can be stressful. The only way I can rise above this is to realize all things are ultimately God’s responsibility. Anything that happens is because God made it happen. God is simply asking me to partner with Him, to join Him in what He’s doing, and to help Him carry the load. He does all the ‘heavy lifting,’ not me.

God doesn’t need us to help Him as much as He wants us to participate with Him because He knows when we do things together, we will become closer to Him. We have healthy responsibility when we trust God, work together with Him, and let Him be in control of the results.

“Trust is one of the fundamental aspects of life for every human existence...only trust allows the soul room to breathe.”

Wolfhart Pannenberg

Relevant Reflections:

  1. What prevents you from having healthy responsibility?

  2. What steps can you take to have a healthier form of responsibility? In what specific situations can you ask for help?

Image by Joan Njenga from Pixabay

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