Friday, October 3, 2014

Are you too proud to get help?

Even though we haven't formally or fully launched the services of the Scott Free Clinic yet, we have already been able to help many people, pastors, and a few churches. By removing the barrier of cost, this help has been available to those who otherwise couldn't have afforded it.

You would think once the barriers to getting help (like cost) are removed, people would flock to get the help they need. Many have, and many, many more will.

But some will not.

Over the years of counseling people, there have been many occasions where I've observed people who know they have real problems, and even believe they need help to resolve them, but still refuse to go to a counselor even when the service is provided for free. In the back of their minds, these people tell themselves, "I still think I can handle this myself," even though reality is vividly demonstrating otherwise.

This attitude is called pride, and scripture indicates it can cause us great trouble ...

"Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall," Proverbs 16:18.

Such was the case during the Battle of the Wilderness in the Civil War when Union general John Sedgwick was inspecting his troops. At one point he came to a parapet, over which he gazed out in the direction of the enemy. His officers suggested that this was unwise and perhaps he should duck while passing the parapet.

"Nonsense!" snapped the general. "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist---"

A moment later Sedgwick fell to the ground, mortally wounded.

There are many who suffer from depression, anxiety, phobias, post traumatic stress disorder, failing relationships, addictions, anger management issues, and other mental, emotional, and behavioral problems, as well as the consequences of assorted sins, and find themselves suffering without relief, floundering aimlessly and headed for a fall.

Yet they still refuse to get help.

"Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall."

If you look at men and women who seem to really have their lives together in a good, strong way, many of them will tell you they have been over-confident and prideful in the past but they learned the hard way that pride can ruin them.

Golf legend Arnold Palmer tells the story of how being over-confident in his own ability cost him dearly ...

"It was the final hole of the 1961 Masters tournament, and I had a one-stroke lead and had just hit a very satisfying tee shot. I felt I was in pretty good shape. As I approached my ball, I saw an old friend standing at the edge of the gallery. He motioned me over, stuck out his hand and said, 'Congratulations!' I took his hand and shook it, but as soon as I did, I knew I had lost my focus. On my next two shots, I hit the ball into a sand trap, then put it over the edge of the green. I missed a putt and lost the Masters. You don't forget a mistake like that, you just learn from it and become determined that you will never do that again. I haven't in the 30 years since."

If your life is a broken mess, stop telling yourself you can handle it on your own. You can't. You need help.

Before dancing with pride again, just understand that everyone is broken ("... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Ro. 3:23) and we have all, at some time in our lives, needed help. All of us need the grace and transforming love of God. Some of us have been greatly helped to overcome struggles by the loving support of family and friends, or a pastor or brothers and sisters in Christ. And many have been helped by the competent skill of an experienced Christian therapist.

So don't make it an issue of pride to seek and accept the help you need. Just go get it!

Scotty

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