Myth 3: I Can Go It Alone
We’ve all witnessed it, haven’t we?
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
That dismissive phrase that says, “I wasn’t there. I wasn’t with him/her.”
Disassociating with others communicates “I can go it alone.”
But here’s the reality: no you can’t. You are wired for connection with others. We literally are created to be in relationship with other human beings. And when we’re not in relationships, we suffer. Our brains don’t release the chemicals we need to bond and we feel lonely. Isolation leads to suffering.
If you’re reading this an have an independent streak in your DNA, welcome to the club. So do I. You’re not alone.
Return to Peter’s denial. As he sought to disassociate with Jesus at a critical moment in his ministry, he was separating himself from connection with others. A little virtual coaching here: that’s not healthy.
If I could have coached or ministered to Peter in that moment, I might have said something like this, “Stand with the one you love. You can’t do this alone. None of us can. It will be challenging. But, love has a cost.”
In my less than gracious moments, I might have said, “Suck it up buttercup.” And then grace would have kicked in and reminded him, “Buddy, this is not about you. The Son of God is about to give his life for you and you’re worried about being seen with him in public? Really. C’mon, you can do this. You need Jesus and Jesus needs you. Stand up. Step into the arena. God is with you.”
When we seek to go it alone, we’re often playing the role of martyr, victim, or worse, being selfish. Consider the source of your desire to “go it alone.”
When are you most likely to “go it alone?” When do you say, “I’ll do it on my own.” “I’ve got this.” “I’ll do it.” instead of, “I can help, what’s my part?” Or “I need your help with ___________ part.”
Return to your call to courage. When have you tried to go it alone?
Jesus, thank you for seeking to be in relationship with me. Thank you for loving me when I turn my back on you, even in small ways. Grant me the courage and grace I need today to step into relationship with you and the people I encounter. Amen.
Did you “go it alone” or seek to be in relationship with Jesus and others today? What do you celebrate about what you did well? What do you want to change?
If you haven’t taken a moment to review the “Overview of It Takes Courage” please do so. You’ll find a few tips that will help you start this journey.