• Michael Haldas

Independence

“The indwelling of the Holy Spirit…is God’s ultimate gift to every true Christian. The Holy Spirit is an inestimable divine endowment which we must strive to retain, submitting all that we are and all that we have to Christ as King and God…However, such an unqualified surrender runs against the grain of American values, which emphasize personal independence and “doing one’s own thing.” It runs contrary to our ego’s deep desire for self-actualization and self-expression…We often live mindlessly, with only a vague awareness of God. Rarely do we place our decisions, activities, and relationships under the scrutiny and direction of the Holy Spirit, who is waiting to guide us toward what is best.” (Dynamis 6/26/2020)


“In our days, people have lost control over their lives, and they do not know what they are doing. The reason being, that they do not wish to be guided; they want to live undisturbed, following their own free will, which will eventually bring their total destruction. God gave man his freedom and independence to do as he likes, but He also gave him the knowledge, the ability to realize, that he is unable to achieve good acts by solely relying on himself, "... for apart from me you can do nothing" (Jn 15:5), "If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?" (Lk 12:26). Therefore, when man uses his freedom and independence without taking into consideration his human weakness, he becomes deceived; he experiences and interprets everything by using his own logic. Instead of God's grace, human logic rules his life, and his mind is in confusion. This is terrible.” (St. Paisios the Athonite)


“When something…painful…occurs, it seems to me that at least one of its results is the fostering of a greater and more sensitized sense of our dependency on God than is usually encountered in our country. And this is in some ways natural because the enviable level of material well-being and the technological advances of our great land are, in some respects, a spiritual liability in that they blind us to our utter weakness in the face of events such as these. Both the prosperity and the technology we enjoy are indeed great blessings in our lives, but they nonetheless give us a sense of empowerment and drive us to triumphant feeling of self-reliance, self-sufficiency, and independence-a sense that we are somehow both strong and invulnerable. And this illusion of strength, for indeed it is an illusion and only that, stands as a hindrance to the proper relationship with God that each of us as Christians should actively be seeking in our lives.” (Fr. Andrew Demotses)


“We all want to feel independent, safe and secure in ourselves; to fence ourselves in and say to others and even to God, “Back off! Don’t bother me. Leave me alone.” Indeed, we have the right to say this. But our crucified and risen Lord—the “Transcendental Interferer”—also has the right to step into our human situations, relationships, circumstances, schedules and plans to pursue us with His divine Love and persistent mercy. As He says to the self-satisfied Church of Laodicea, so He says to us: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelations 3:20).” (Archpriest Daniel)


“No one person of the Trinity acts independently of or in isolation from the others. The action of each is the action of all; the action of all is the action of each. And the divine action is essentially one… If God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is not independent within Himself, not independent within His own nature, and we are created in His image and likeness, then we need to assess our own sense of independence and dependence and make sure we are not deluding ourselves.” (Father Thomas Hopko, Sacramental Living Ministries)


“If we attempt to live life on our own terms, we quickly discover how easy it is to err. This is why the wily enemy constantly invites us to operate “right in [our] own eyes (Prv 12:17).” (Dynamis 3/17/2015)

“The passions driving us to sin get even stronger when we fight against them on our own…Only Christ's healing power can save us in this battle.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 7:13-17)

“When we are strong in abilities or resources, we are tempted to do God’s work on our own, and that can lead to pride. When we are weak, allowing God to fill us with His power, then we are stronger than we could ever be on our own. God does not intend for us to seek to be weak, passive, or ineffective—life provides enough hindrances and setbacks without us creating them. When those obstacles come, we must depend on God. Only His power will make us effective for Him and will help us do work that has lasting value.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 12:10)

"…worry and anxiety creeps into even simple responsibilities when I leave God out of the picture; when I fall into self-reliance, carrying the burden of my situations and decisions on my own shoulders." (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

“It is heresy, of course, to believe that we can achieve…perfection on our own or on this side of heaven. It is a paradox of the Christian life that the holier one becomes, the more acutely aware one is of one’s lack, and therefore one’s total dependence on God’s mercy.” (Rod Dreher)

“Because Christ is the sustainer of all life, none of us is independent from Him.” (Life Application Study Bible, Colossians 1:17)

“We have no independent existence. We depend on God for all and by his mercy we can have the light of Christ indwell in us. This is a spiritual reality revealed by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The value of this is unfathomable.” (Father George Morelli)

“Self-will is exactly what defeated the generation of Israel that came out of Egypt and received the Law from God at Mount Sinai. Their burial mounds in the wastelands of the Sinai Desert are a permanent reminder of the need to defeat the enemy of self-assertion and independence from God.” (OCPM 2/13/2016)

"Turning our lives to God can be a difficult thing to master, however. We think we are independent people, and that all that happens in our lives is the result of our own labors and ingenuity. But in reality, what we sometimes attribute to self, should really be attributed to Almighty God. Let us therefore turn to our Provider, the Giver of all good gifts, and leave our worries and anxieties behind." (Marianne C. Sailus)

“Remember that there is more than one way to express your hostility to God’s rule. The irreligious person explicitly asserts his or her independence from God: “I want to live any way I want to live!” But the religious person much more covertly asserts his or her independence from God. The religious person says: “I am going to obey the Bible and do all these things, and now God has to bless me and give me a good life.” This is an effort to control God, not trust Him." (Pastor Timothy Keller)


#FatherGeorgeMorelli #MarianneCSailus #PastorTimothyKeller #OrthodoxStudyBible #Dynamis #LifeApplicationStudyBible #SrDrVassaLarin #RodDreher #StPaisiostheAthonite #FrAndrewDemotses #ArchpriestDaniel #FatherThomasHopko #SacramentalLivingMinistries


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