By Christopher Simon
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” ~ Philippians 4:13 NIV
Those who are lacking in self-reliance are fortunate that there are people who enjoy helping others. But even the most helpful and giving person gets tired of helping those who could easily help themselves but won’t. In a similar vein, people who are frugal are likely to feel they are being taken advantage of if asked to give money to those who are spendthrifts. There is something in us that feels the justice of Paul’s remark to the Thessalonians that “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”(2 Thessalonians 3:10 NIV)
Clearly there is a difference between those who are unable to work (or help themselves) and those who are unwilling. Most of us welcome the opportunity to help those who are unable, but we chafe at helping those who just don’t feel like helping themselves. As Thomas Jefferson put it, “Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.”
Self-reliance, in all its wonderful varieties, from knowing how to take care of your basic needs, to making do with what you have,to being resilient after a setback, is surely one of the most useful of character traits.