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In Dependence

“In popular culture dependence is often understood as a sick relationship, a lack of personal control, an inability to stand on one’s own two feet. This goes so far that for many dependence has no simply neutral meaning but is always a bad thing.” — Don Talafous OSB

Truly, in our American culture, I can’t think of any situation in which dependence is valued and prized. Young adults who live at home with their parents are considered immature or unmotivated. A manager who doesn’t claw his/her way to the top of the corporate ladder is viewed as passive and without goals or ambitions. We don’t want to have to depend on anyone for financial help, emotional support, or physical assistance. We would rather do without something than be forced to borrow an item from a neighbor or friend. What ever happened to people sharing things, so that we all didn’t have to possess all the same things? This hunger to create our own little kingdoms of possessions is fed by commercialism and the message that we deserve it and shouldn’t be dependent on others.

Is it any wonder that we struggle with concepts such as “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me”? This goes against everything in our being! I can do NOTHING without Christ? Well, we certainly CAN do something without Christ, but…it will go up in a puff of smoke at the day of judgment. We can do nothing of ETERNAL value and significance – without Christ. Does that matter to us? It should. If it does matter, then be prepared for a lifelong battle with the voices of our culture. You will be misunderstood, overlooked, and seen as weak. Only the Spirit can give us the wisdom and power and perseverance to swim up this crowded stream. May we ask for His help daily.

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