In the minds of Americans, independence is usually associated with the honor and dignity of the birth of our nation. Yet independence carries another connotation with it that is absolutely detrimental. At is most basic understanding independence is to be completely self sufficient, free from outside control or not depending on another’s authority.
While this may seem desirable and perhaps even needful, there is a real danger in living in such a way that people see themselves as both the means as well as the end of their lives. We can be neither, and yet we naturally clamor for both. When independence pervades in the human heart, great and terrible evils come to be normal, commonplace and deemed as natural. The attitude of self is what is at the very heart of what captured Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, and what holds men captive today. The act of taking the forbidden fruit represents the defiant and independent heart of man to trust in himself over God. It is to rebelliously tell God “I don’t need you!”
When we trace the concept of independence back to its roots, we find them deeply imbedded in the soil of pride. Pride feeds, grows, develops and maintains this self-sufficient mindset. James 4:6 states that “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” It is compulsory for the Christian to combat the sinful mind by replacing it with one that capitulates to the mind of Jesus.
This has two practical applications to how the Christian must submit their thoughts to Jesus.