The meaning of the above phrase is generally regarded as “helping oneself without the aid of others”. Most often it is used to express the very healthy attitude that we should not depend on the charity of others when we ourselves are capable of meeting our personal needs and necessities.
What complicates the message of the phrase is that unless things have changed in the last couple of hundred years, it is pretty difficult (impossible?) to actually pull oneself up by the bootstraps! The cartoon above illustrates the problem. So without in any way diminishing the importance of taking a healthy pride in providing for our personal life needs, it is important to admit that there are some areas in our lives where we cannot help ourselves. Ironically, it seems, those are exactly the facets of our lives over which we want control. The most glaring example of this is our relationship with God.
Ask ten people, “Why do you think you are going to heaven?” and probably eight will say, “Because I’ve led a pretty good life.” Popular thinking is that when we die, we will present to God a list of all the good and kind things we’ve done during our earthly lives, and he will respond, “You’re good enough to go to heaven. Come on in!!!” That may be what a lot of people think, even people who identify themselves as Christians, but that is not what Jesus Christ or the writers of the Bible said. Quite to the contrary, Jesus taught that getting into a right relationship with God depends on God, not us! Our part is to believe, to trust. In fact, Jesus was downright brutal in his evaluation of our potential to save ourselves. He bluntly said, “You’re helpless. You need to be saved because you can’t save yourself.” That’s kind of offensive to the human spirit, but that’s what he said.
If you aren’t really sure where you are at with God, join us for one of our weekend worship services. And before then, kick around these questions:
How good is “good enough” to get into heaven?
What is my “good” score?
How do I keep score?
Do I have enough time to get to the “good enough” level?
Weekend worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm – Sunday: 10:00 am