Jeannie cringes as a wave of anguish sweeps over her. How could I have missed that? What’s wrong with me?
Tears well up in her eyes. I’m hopeless. Why can I never seem to get anything right? And why does Sam always pick up on it when I miss something? Yes, the results will be better because he did see the problem, but still…why couldn’t I get it right without his help?
Matt stares miserably at the hole he’s just kicked in the bedroom wall. Wait until Sarah sees it!
But that isn’t the worst part. All those hours he'd spent getting the proposal done, only to have the client say it was all wrong and he was going with another company. Why on earth didn't I check with the client first instead of assuming I knew what was needed?
Matt sighs. Not much he can do about the lost client, but maybe he can fix the hole before Sarah gets home.
Maybe it’s an offshoot of the work ethic of our pioneer forefathers and foremothers. Maybe it’s because from kindergarten through university, we’re constantly compared to one another. But whatever the reason, it’s almost impossible for most of us to get past the idea that if we would just try harder, dig deeper, visualize better, study more… we’d be perfect and wouldn’t need anyone else’s help.
The truth is none of us are perfect in the sense of being sufficient in and of ourselves—and, no matter how old we get, or how mature we become, we never will be.
In fact, God never intended for us to be all-sufficient. God is three personalities in one—Creator, Son, and Holy Spirit. A team. And we’re made in his image.
After God made Adam, he said it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone. God meant that literally. It’s NOT good for a man or a woman to be all alone. So God created Eve to be a companion and partner ideally suited for him, and not merely as a sexual partner. Then, through Adam and Eve, God brought into being many, many more men and women to live in families and communities.
The reality is that no matter how hard we strive to get things right, we need help from other people. It’s as simple as that. God made us that way.
Jeannie’s reaction—berating herself up for not producing something perfect, and even becoming angry with Sam for helping her—is not only self-defeating, it’s in opposition to what God has set in motion.
This post was published first in my column, As Each Part Does Its Work, in the Maranatha News, which I wrote from March, 2007, until September, 2010.