My Utmost for His Highest had this to say today:
"We deify independence and wilfulness and call them by the wrong name. What God looks on as obstinate weakness, we call strength."
Their is nothing more honorable or cherished in our culture than the ability to earn favor by one's own merit. It is a childish endeavor learned early. My son and daughter routinely echo the heart of idolatry and self-satisfaction in barking, "Do it self!" In children we see this perhaps as willful, but excusable. In adults, we save our largest applause for the one by whom much has been conquered with the least amount of assistance.
Who is more revered than the one who did it all without your help? Who is more honored than the visionary commited to their perception of "the good."
What we call strength, God calls weakness. It is the weak man who shows up before God demanding his wages. It is the strong man who timidly falls before God asking that in Christ his wages be paid and that perhaps, if only by grace, Jesus' wages be given to him.
We don't like handouts. We pat ourselves on the back for occassionally handing out. We don't like being condescended. We like condescending people above whom we feel we rise.
We are the epitome of needy and yet we call it satisfication. We are the beggar who boasts of charity bestowed.
Where in your heart and mind have you elevated independence above reliance and willfulness above submission? You often need look no further than the resume you present to others in conversation in justifying why they should like you, love you, follow you, believe you, respect you, or receive you.