Independent? Dependent? Codependent?

For the most part we are a society of independent people. In some ways that statement is an oxymoron—how can we be a society if we are independent of each other? Certainly independence damages community even if it can  maintain a tenuous hold on the claim to still be "society."

But the Scriptures remind us Who we need to always be dependent upon. Deep down in our heart of hearts we all want someone to lean on. We have a built-in need that won't be denied no matter how hard we try to stamp it out.

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Where can I go and meet God?" (Psalm 42:1, 2). The psalmist knows the loneliness and desperation of being independent and yearns for that connection to the only One who can meet his need.

"Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight" (Psalm 43:3, 4). So many elements are found here. In God there is light, truth, guidance, security, fellowship, joy, delight. This exemplifies "community"—God in us and us in God.

As that community, that dependence on God grows, we realize that whatever, or whoever, the enemies of that community are, it is not up to us to defeat them. We may have to face those enemies, but it is God who takes them on. We are dependent on Him for victory. "It is not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them" (Psalm 44:3).

The pendulum has swung, as it always does, to the extremes. We can be independent and think we have need of no one. We can be codependent and believe that none of us can survive without the other. Both are unhealthy. But in relationship to God we discover that we need Him desperately and, thankfully, while He doesn't depend on us for His well-being, He can be depended upon by us for our well-being.


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