DOES GOD HELP THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES?

[This was originally posted September 15, 2015]

No.  Absolutely not.  Not from a secular perspective, not from a religious/spiritual perspective.

The origin of the proverb, “God helps those who help themselves,” is uncertain–though it’s believed to have originated in Ancient Greece.  One thing is certain: It’s not anywhere in the Bible–though it’s drilled into our heads as if it is.

My devoutly Christian parents raised their children on this thinking, just as countless other devoutly Christian parents did (and still do).  But it is in direct contradiction to Biblical teachings–especially the teachings ascribed to Jesus.  If anything, the Bible teaches the reverse:  God helps those who cannot help themselves.

So how did this nonsense get into the instructional repertoire of Christian parents?  Lack of faith.  Parents who teach this lack faith themselves.  They are hypocrites–though not usually conscious of their hypocrisy.  To teach your children that God helps those who help themselves is to teach them that God really doesn’t help anyone.  Yet as you help yourself, following the teachings of your parents, you come to believe that God is helping you.  He’s not–you’re just helping yourself.  But you don’t think, as a child, to question your parents’ faith–so you don’t.

Now–does our Creator help anyone at all, whether he/she helps himself/herself or not?  The Creator certainly doesn’t help me.  And for every story of the Creator helping anyone, there are millions of stories of the Creator not helping anyone.

Can the Creator help anyone?  Of course.  It is only logical that the Creator of everyone and everything has the power to help anyone and anything at any time.

So, as a reluctant Deist, I wait.  I don’t expect the Creator to help me–but I hope the Creator will.

And this is all the faith of which I’m capable.

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