Independent or Inter-dependent?

Something a lot of people want to be is independent—not having to rely on other people for anything. It goes along with being “self-made” or “self-reliant.”

But one of the things COVID-19 has taught us is how inter-dependent we are.

This point was made in a recent conversation I had with a friend and colleague named Christine O’Reilly. Speaking about COVID-19, she said: “This has taught us how interdependent we are… upon a lot of people that we might not normally take the time to acknowledge.”

It’s so true. We are seeing, with increasing clarity, the value of people who stock the shelves at the grocery store, or who deliver packages, or who do hundreds of other valuable jobs we might not normally acknowledge.

We might think we’re independent, autonomous people. But we’re not. We’re inter-dependent, social people.

And this should compel us to have a more humble, compassionate and loving attitude toward the people around us. They make important contributions to our lives and society—even if we don’t always think about them.

In Romans 12, Paul writes: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves… Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (verses 10, 13).

I believe we’re more likely to have this kind of attitude (a) when we remember that in Christ we belong to God and he has done so much more for us than we could ever do for ourselves, and (b) when we truly value each child of God in the living of our interconnected lives.

“This has taught us how interdependent we are… upon a lot of people that we might not normally take the time to acknowledge.”

So acknowledge them. Value them. And let’s love one another with eyes wide open to the many ways we are enriched on a daily basis by people we often don’t even see.

By Matthew Ruttan

–The fully conversation with Christine O’Reilly (quote above), as well as my talk with Alex Douglas can be watched on YouTube here. It’s called “Better than before?” Enjoy!

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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