Self sufficiency vs God-dependency

European_BobEuropean_Bob EuropeSilver Member Posts: 139
As I've been progressing through the MAP one of the key points that I've found for men is to not let your wife's mood have an influence on your's. i.e. if she is complaining then stay aloof and happy. Another aspect is OI - if she doesn't want to have sex then I'm still fine, I can go off and do <manly thing> instead. Follow this train of thought through, it appears that one of the goals of the MAP is to become self-sufficient, not reliant on your wife or anything else for what you need and/or want in life.

That however seems to be in contradiction to the whole Christian perspective of being reliant or dependent on God. Personally I'm not sure I even understand 100% what it means to rely on God.

How do these seemingly 180 degree opposite positions work together?

I'd appreciate any feedback @pastorgeek and others :)

If quizzes are quizical, what are tests?


  • ddadddad Silver Member Posts: 790

    The god perspective is that trust that no matter how bad it is with people IRL someone(god) loves you.  Doesn't really change OI except when you  go off to do something manly your backup is that you are still loved.  That is my simplified perspective.

  • Raspberry_roseRaspberry_rose USASilver Member Posts: 994
    edited July 2013
    I'm not sure if what I have to say applies to Christianity, but I was always taught three things about this:
    1. God helps those who help themselves.
    2. If you want it, pray, put in the effort, and if God thinks it's a good idea, God will make it happen. But there needs to be at least some work on your end of things. God is someone with whom you're in a relationship, not a celestial ATM.
    3. Don't rely on miracles.

    As it says in a store somewhere, "In God we trust. All others pay cash." ;)
  • liquidliquid Brooklyn, NYSilver Member Posts: 1,785
    Ultimately, I don't rely on my husband. I am never promised that he will never leave me nor forsake me. I know that he is fallible but God is not.

    The Map idea, and now the new book, has been extremely helpful to me as a sensible way to organize my own responsibilities.

    I need to deal with my own gluttony and sloth before I get too worried about him not loving me selflessly, which is really my definition of selflessly. Log vs. speck, right?

  • European_BobEuropean_Bob EuropeSilver Member Posts: 139

    If quizzes are quizical, what are tests?
  • European_BobEuropean_Bob EuropeSilver Member Posts: 139
    so to summarise / paraphrase could it all be compressed down into:

    "MAP your arse off, as far as you can, and as much as you can (including driving your own limo to the gym), take care of everything that your able to by yourself, and then trust that God's got your back for the rest"

    with the assumption that God knows even better than you do exactly how far you can get on your own


    PS Congratulations @pastorgeek on the imminent baby :)

    If quizzes are quizical, what are tests?
  • Monkeys_UncleMonkeys_Uncle RuralGold Men Zen Garden Posts: 4,041
    As a non-Christian living in an area where Protestant evangelistic culture is nearly ubiquitous, I have a great respect for my many devout Christian friends.  The churches are the glue that hold our community together.  They give of themselves nearly endlessly to wonderful causes.  Nobody goes hungry in this community and it has much more to do with the churches than the government.  They strive every day to be better than they were the day before.  They admit their shortcomings.  Much more often than not, when I have a disagreement with them on a fundamental issue, we can disagree amicably.    I often find myself outraged at the way my friends and family and their church culture are misrepresented in the media and in the popular culture. 

    In short, I don't drink the Christ Kool-Aid, but I am a huge fan of the brand.

    With that said, if there is one shortcoming I see in my churchgoing friends, it would be a propensity to "give it over to God" in situations where they would be better served taking care of it themselves.   Sometimes it's almost as if it is seen a test of one's faith to NOT take reasonable corrective action on an issue, but instead to let it ride and see if it resolves itself so that divine intervention can be claimed.   Other times I see my Christian friends actually do a lot of work to correct an issue, and then when asked about how they got out of a bad situation, rather than imparting the wisdom and details of their hard work on another who could use that knowledge, they whitewash it all as, "I just gave my problem over to God."   I've seen that happen and I always want to yell, "No you did not!   You worked your ass off and almost single handedly rebuilt that house that burned down!  You worked three jobs to get yourself out of a bad financial situation!   You went back to school and trained in a new career when your old skills weren't valuable in the marketplace anymore!"  

    "My advice to you is get married:  if you find a good wife you'll be happy, if not, you'll become a philosopher." -Socrates

  • ddadddad Silver Member Posts: 790

    Athol_Kay said:

    @pastorgeek ;   you should see some of the Christian hate mail I get.

    I grew up Catholic, explored some other Christian churches and studied comparative religion in university (3 courses worth not a major or anything). 

    Ironic how most(Vast majority) of what you say fits with most Christian philosophies.  It comes down to people with narrow minds and narrower interpretations of their scripture.  The belief that they must attack any who don't believe exactly word for word what they do is one thing that pushed me away from organized religion.  If their beliefs are so good they will stand on their own and attract people by their virtue not because they cut down others around them.
  • Athol_KayAthol_Kay My Underground LairPosts: 8,039
    As a non-Christian

    Would you describe a Black person a non-White?

    Would you describe a woman as a non-man?

    Why aren't you a non-Muslim, or a non-Mormon, or non-Buddhist?


    Just curious.

     One Hour Call   12-Week Guided MAP

    "The turnaround is tremendous.  And I'm lifting weights, eating better, and tackling projects.  I have all this great energy without a vampire sucking my life force.  :)  He's a lot stronger standing on his own two feet, as well."  - Scarlet

  • Natalie_LorinNatalie_Lorin Southern USSilver Member Posts: 979
    Phillipians 2:12-13

    12Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

    My understanding when it comes to works is not that we do 100% until we run out of steam and then God does 100% but rather that both God and us put in 100%. It's like if life is a huge boulder it's not that we push it until we get tired and God does the rest. It's more that God puts His hands over our hands and pushes that boulder with and through us.

    I mean, we should trust that God has our backs, but the point is that He's got our backs even when we think we've got our own and are handling things pretty well. Well, yeah you're being faithful and putting your hand to the plow and all that. Hurrah for listening on Sunday :) But you're being faithful and working hard because of what God is doing in you. It might feel like you're bootstrapping your way up by yourself, but you really aren't.

    Clear as mud?
  • pastorgeekpastorgeek Dodgeville, WI. USASilver Member Posts: 752
    Athol_Kay said:

    @pastorgeek ;   you should see some of the Christian hate mail I get.

    Sorry to hear that. You'll get none from me. I admire the goal you seek, even if I seek it from the other side of the table.

    When I previously blogged, I received quite a bit of pushback from the atheists. It seems to be more of a human thing than a religious or non-religious thing.

     "Get slim, get fit, be manly! But mostly, be the guy your wife thought she was marrying!" - me.

    Now blogging at

  • Monkeys_UncleMonkeys_Uncle RuralGold Men Zen Garden Posts: 4,041
    " Why aren't you a non-Muslim, or a non-Mormon, or non-Buddhist?   Just curious."

    Probably jut out of habit... I live in an area where if you are a middle class white guy without a meth addiction, everyone just assumes you are a) definitely Christian and b) most likely Southern Baptist.    Asking somebody what church they go to here is in the same category as asking what they do for a living, and the answer "I don't go to church, and I'm not looking for a church to join." is often met with the same reaction as if you'd said, "I have no job or occupation, and I'm not interested in one." 

    "My advice to you is get married:  if you find a good wife you'll be happy, if not, you'll become a philosopher." -Socrates

  • AkatsukamiAkatsukami IllinoisSilver Member Posts: 171
    edited July 2013
    My understanding when it comes to works is not that we do 100% until we run out of steam and then God does 100% but rather that both God and us put in 100%. It's like if life is a huge boulder it's not that we push it until we get tired and God does the rest. It's more that God puts His hands over our hands and pushes that boulder with and through us.

    "He [R. Tarfon] used to say, 'It is not upon you to complete the task, but you are not free to idle from it'".  Pirke Avot 2:21.
    Data is not information.
    Information is not knowledge.
    Knowledge is not wisdom.
  • CaptaindudeCaptaindude USASilver Member Posts: 350
    edited July 2013
    Faith is a principle of action.  

    It's like climbing a mountain covered in clouds to get to the top you can't yet see, like taking one more step beyond the edge of the darkness at night.  You move forward because you're convinced your actions will result in a positive outcome.   God can help you with the courage to keep climbing, to keep walking, even though you can't yet see the full future outcome.   He'll give you the confidence that you're on the right path, but often only after you're already walking up the path.

    James 2:17-18
    17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
     18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

    Also--Hebrews chapter 11 (a list of actions various people took when motivated by faith.)

    John 14:12
     12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

    John 7:17
     17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

    God is more like your personal trainer at the gym than your limo driver.  Your trainer won't do you any favors by lifting your weights for you.  He can show you your weak areas, tell you what to do to improve, and motivate you--even hold you accountable.  But lifting the bar for you would be counterproductive.

    Like your coach or trainer, God wants to see us develop His capacity.  We cannot grow to become like Him unless he allows us to struggle, to learn, and to do for ourselves.  

    Prayer is like a personal accountability interview with our personal trainer--to thank Him for His help and guidance, to share what we've done so far, and to ask for confirmation that we're still doing the right thing--then listen for any guidance to tweak our direction.

    From the Book of Mormon:
    Ether 12:27
    27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

    Alma 7:24
    24 And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.

    We only know if God's teachings are true if we actually do something to follow them.  This action demonstrates and builds our faith.
    Alma 32:27
    27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

    Jesus life and teachings were all about doing things to grow personally and to help people.  I can't find a single reference of Him suggesting people sit around and wait for God to take care of everything.

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