Following Jesus In A DIY Culture


By Kyle Idleman

Have you ever bought something that states, “some construction required” and you thought, "I can do this, no problem." Only to discover that you can’t and now it’s become a significant problem? 

Or maybe something breaks around your home and you think, "I can fix this myself...no problem!" After all, it was just a toilet, hot water heater or a garbage disposal. How hard could it be? 

Perhaps guys are more prone to this, but I think, at some point, we all have experienced a DIY mentality. We can change the oil in our cars, so we assume that we can also replace the transmission. We think, "That oil thing was easy! I can fix it myself."

Last year my wife had two trees she wanted cut down from our front yard so she took me outside to show me which ones. I was feeling pretty good about myself because, after almost twenty years of marriage and she had never asked me to cut down anything.

Since I owned my own chainsaw, taking care of a couple of trees seemed like a no-brainer. I even began daydreaming about which flannel shirt I would wear for the project. Then I heard her say, “If you don’t mind calling someone to take of those trees, I would appreciate it.”  

Very confident in my ability to take care of a couple trees, I spoke up and told her, “Oh, no, baby. I got this. I can fix it myself.” My wife paused before cautiously choosing her next words. “I know you have been very busy. I just didn't want you to have to worry about that. You know what…forget I said anything.”

So the next day I got my chainsaw out and cut down the trees. I know what you’re thinking, “That must have been a disaster. Did you also cut off one of your fingers? Did a tree fall on the house?” No. As a matter of fact, I nailed it and then I looked around the yard searching for other trees I could introduce to Sue Pellum. (Interesting side note: my chainsaw is named after my fifth-grade teacher, Sue Pellum, who could cut you down without breaking a sweat.) 

Since I was able to do something, I assumed I could do anything.

I believed that no matter what the problem was, I could fix it myself. That’s how it works for us, and especially for us guys. We do something well, we start to get a little pride going and then we suddenly begin thinking that we can fix any problem. 

Do you think you can fix it yourself?

It can be all kinds of things. It might be a person. You might be married to it. Or you might be raising several little its. You’ve got to fix this person, and you’re sure you can. 

Maybe the person you’re trying to fix is you. There’s something in your life, maybe a bad habit or an addiction or a secret sin, and you’re convinced you can fix it. You’ve been struggling with it for a long time, and you haven’t seen much progress, if any, but you’re still convinced you can fix it.

Maybe it is not even a person. Perhaps what you’re trying to fix is a financial situation, or your marriage, or something at your job.

Whatever it is, you feel confident that YOU can do it. You don't need any help, so there's no need to ask. You don't need to tell anyone, so you keep the struggle to yourself. You're not even sure if anyone else really cares. But none of this matters because you can do it. You can fix it yourself.

The problem is you can't. 

There are simply some things you just can’t fix yourself. Let’s be honest, there are lots of things you can’t fix yourself. Admitting that is not a sign of weakness, and in fact, requires courage and strength to admit. 

The solution is that Jesus can.

In the Bible we learn that Jesus has the power to do anything. This means he can fix anything and anyone. And we also learn that Jesus loves us. That means he wants to help us.

We even learn that Jesus went through the same struggles and temptations we go through (see Hebrews 4:14-15). That means he knows our struggles and He understands us. And, because of all that,   

let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
— Hebrews 4:16

You don’t have to do it yourself. Have the strength to admit you don’t have the strength. God’s power is available to you. You simply need to turn and connect with him, ask him, and trust him to fix it, whatever it is.

Perhaps it's been a long time since you've opened your heart to Jesus. You might not even remember the last time you spoke to Him in prayer or said more than the words, "please, God." If so, it's okay. What matters is you set aside life for a few minutes to admit your weakness and acknowledge His strength. He will meet you there.

 

 

KYLE IDLEMAN is the teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and is the author of the award-winning and bestselling book, not a fan. You can follow him on Facebook.