The Independence Syndrome


“I can do it.”

“I can do it all by myself.”

These are words I’ve

heard often. I’ve heard them from my own children when they were little, my former students, and now my sweet grandchildren. My poor husband has even heard these words from me at times!

My grandsons can climb the ladder to the monkey bars by themselves, but they can’t yet cross the monkey bars by themselves.   Occasionally the older might even tell me to let go while he hangs for a minute, but then he quickly says something like “grandma catch me”.

He wants as much independence as he can get, and yet still needs me to be close enough to catch him.

My one-year-old grandson can’t quite verbalize what he’s desperately trying to tell me.

His independence might look more like a cry or a scream as he desires to dress himself. He just doesn’t have all the skills yet to complete the task he desires to do “all by himself”. Both legs get tangled into one pant leg….His head gets stuck in what the arm is supposed to go through. It’s quite the disaster.

They both have “big” eyes. They will eye up a very very tall basketball hoop and shoot the ball, believing with every fiber of their being that the ball will indeed go through the hoop. That’s great. I want them to dream big. I want them to pray big. I want to encourage them in their independence in a healthy way.

And yet…are we meant and created to be totally independent?


We might not want to admit it, but we need each other. We need encouragers. We need those who will catch us when we are teetering on the edge.


We are created in His image and He is “three in one”. The trinity.

We are together a body.


Romans 12:5

“So in Christ we who are many form one body, each member belongs to all the others”


We can strive for that independence.

We want to eat what we want, but not have the bad effects of our food choices.

We want to drive fast and not get caught.

We want to buy that thing to make ourselves happy and not feel the crunch in our finances.


Our independence will never satisfy especially if we are excluding God.

We are meant to receive Him

And surrender to Him and His ways above all other ways.

It is only through Him that we can have a fulfilled life.


Romans 12:10-13

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”


Psalm 36:9

“For with You is the Fountain of Life. In your light we see light.”

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