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Boot Straps or Shackles?

"Pick yourself up by your boot straps" is a common expression of succeeding by your own strength and initiative. I have been wondering if we have taken that idea too far? We read self-help books and try diets. We try harder, focus more and strain ourselves to climb out of holes we have dug ourselves into. Maybe it is time that we recognize that we need more than our own effort. Maybe it is time to let go of the boot straps and take hold of Jesus?

Don't get me wrong, I am not advocating that we stop putting effort or energy into improving and growing. What I am proposing is that we need to be focused on Jesus more than we focus on ourselves. I know I have caught myself trying harder and putting more effort in rather than making sure I am rooted in the love of Jesus. The danger I find is that I lose sight of who I am and what I am called to be. My desire to improve or grow is rooted in myself, and not founded upon a desire to be more like Jesus. For that is truly what we are called to be. We are to look to him with every aspect of our lives and say "this is yours". It is in growing in relationship with the Living Jesus that his spirit will work in us and transform us. Without surrender we cannot take hold of everything he has for us. God wants us free, God wants us unchained. So let's let go of the boot straps that act like shackles and take of hold of Jesus and everything he has for us.

1 Corinthians 13:12

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

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