The Delusion of Independence

Paul Tripp
Paul Tripp
2012 4 Oct

"Do not hide your face from me, do not turn away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject or forsake me, O God my Savior." (v.9)

Do you view yourself as a person in need of help? Do you seek to live more independently than you should? How do you respond when God sends someone your way to correct or confront you? Do you bolster yourself with evidences of your righteousness or do you regularly look in the mirror of the Word of God and admit how needy you actually are? Do you live with a sense of need for the heart-educating classroom of grace or do you think of yourself as a grace graduate? Do you think of others as needier than you? Even as you minister to others, do you think of yourself as one in need of ministry as well? When you seek to understand why you do the things you do, do you look outside of or inside of yourself for the answer?

One of the sad results of sin is that it causes all of us at some time and in some way to buy into the delusion of independence. Independence is what the serpent sold Adam and Eve, but this independence was as counterfeit as the old proverbial three dollar bill. The counterfeit currency of independence is the reward that the enemy continues to wave in front of each one of us. The lie goes this way, "You can be whatever you want to be and do whatever you want to do." This lie is designed to make me believe that I'm wiser and more righteous than I actually am. It makes me think that I'm a mature person living in a colony of the immature. It causes me to reason that if I do bad things, I do them not because of what's inside of me, but because of the pressures that I am forced to deal with that are outside of me. This lie is meant to convince me that I'm capable and okay.

Here's what the Bible makes blatantly clear; the quest for Independence never ends in independence. It always ends in slavery. Why? Because I was carefully designed by the Creator to live in a dependent, obedient, and worshipful relationship with him and in humble, interdependent, relationships with other human beings. The quest for independence is not simply a spiritual mistake; it's a fundamental denial of my humanity. The pursuit of independence always leaves me addicted to a list of things that I've looked to in order to give me hope, life, strength and rest; in a vain attempt to distract myself from the evidence that I'm not, in fact, independent, I get hooked on things that have the ability to distract me, but can never give my heart rest.

The message of Psalm 27 and the rest of the Bible is clear, I'm a person in desperate need of help and if I walk with God for thousands of years I will continue to need his help as much as I did the first day I reached my hand out for him.

Does the way you relate to members of your family picture a person who believes that he's in daily need of help? Does the level of your commitment to Christian fellowship depict a person who thinks he's in need of help? Does your personal devotional life paint a portrait of a person who humbly acknowledges his need of help? Is your life a picture of the celebration that will result when you begin to grasp that, by the grace of Jesus Christ, you have been brought into personal relationship with the only source of the kind of help that you truly need; God himself? Do you love God's truth, love his people, love his gatherings of worship, love the work of his kingdom and love the hymns of his grace, all because you've humbly acknowledged the depth of your need and joyfully embrace the heart-transforming reality of his help?

The only way you'll ever run to the Helper is by running away from the delusion of independence. Why not do that once more today? 

"This article is a resource of Paul Tripp Ministries. For more information visit"