Eva and Chimezie got married in 2008. Its been 6 years after their wedding and although they have been certified child-bearing-capable by different doctors, still no child is forth coming. Chimezie’s mother has always been championing for a child because according to her she’s getting old and wants to see her grand children before she dies. She came around to visit them one of those days and was visibly fed up. She called her son aside and in her own words “Chimezie my son, remember God helps those that help themselves, get a new wife because Eva has damaged her womb with many abortions”.
During Chimezie’s mothers visit, Eva overheard what his mother said and she was very shaken. She called Stephanie (her best friend) and told her what had happened. While conversing, Stephanie told her and I quote “Babe you know I have been telling you this, it seems your husband is impotent. Sleep with that lawyer friend of yours and let him get you pregnant, remember God helps those that help themselves”.
The phrase “God helps those who help themselves is often mistaken as scriptural but it is found no where in the Bible.
It goes against the message of God’s grace by encouraging people to get involved in their own problems by going against Godly principles with the excuse that God will understand. So where is the phrase from?
The phrase originated in ancient Greece and it has been commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin. It first appeared in Poor Richard’s Almanac which was published decades after the Bible. The Bible teaches something entirely different than the above saying, because God makes special provision to help the helpless. God does not help those who can help themselves, simply because no one can.
Zechariah 4:6 says “..not by power or by might but the Spirit of the Lord”. Our own power fails us when we rely on it, rather than God. Proverbs 28:26 also says that “he who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered”. We don’t know it all, we don’t have all the resources, we don’t have all the money and we don’t have all the facts but there is someone that I know that knows it all, He has all it takes, He has all the resources, He knows all the facts and that person is God.
People also have the opinion that connections (knowing someone or knowing someone that knows someone) will deliver your needs. Jeremiah 17:5 says “Thus says the LORD, cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD.”
By strength shall no man prevail (1 Samuel 2:9). Strength hear implies your power, your knowledge, your connections, your money, your beauty, your family, your rich father, your well connected uncle etc. You cannot help yourself without God, no one can help you without God. Psalms 27:1 says “Jehovah is my strength, of who shall you be afraid of?
Who and what shall you be afraid of when Jehovah is your strength?
Is it your academics?
Is it your marital status?
Is it your lack of funds?
Is it your joblessness?
Remember that believing that God helps those that help themselves is not only unsmart but also proud. Pride motivates the belief that we can do everything by our hustle, our know how, our power and our money. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6, 1 Pet. 5:5).
Be humble and trust in God and remember God doesn’t help those who think they can help themselves.