The old saying of “god helps those who help themselves,” is a classic saying taught not only in the home that I grew up in but many others. As a child I do not think I realized what this was saying but as an adult this saying makes me furious because it is the opposite of Jesus teaching.
So I wondered, where in the world did this saying come from and how did it make it into “Christian” theology? I did a quick google search and it seems that a version of this is found all the way back to Ancient Greek times.
I really like this other version of the saying because it is more in lines with Jesus’s teaching. It says “God helps those who cannot help themselves.” This I completely agree with. For when someone came to Jesus on there knees begging for assistance he never turned them away.
For me personally I think that we are supposed to work hard and try our best. This is to mean not be lazy, not waste resources and be good stewards of our gifting. It has been the times in my life I fell short despite trying my best that Jesus has meet with me and literally carried me in a spiritual sense but cared for me in a emotional/physical sense through the body of Christ.
It has been the times that I could NOT take care of myself that God was most present in my life. We should not test God by putting ourselves in situations where we need rescuing but when we do find ourselves in need despite trying our best, Jesus will always show up if you cry out to him in humility.
“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet,but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head,but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”