Is Self-sufficiency Your Strength?

To be self-sufficient is to not require outside aid, support, or interaction for survival.  It is a primary intent of much of today’s Western culture.  A Google search for “self-sufficient” produced 13.7 million matches. 

Self-sufficiency is truly a big deal — and unfortunately, a prideful goal that produces a false sense of security.

Consider what the prophet Habakkuk said in referencing the Babylonians.  He said that their “own strength is their god.”

Although we are far removed from the Babylonians in both time and culture, I suspect that our desire to be self-sufficient is not much different from this ancient empire’s self-reliance.

As we become more self-sufficient, we rely more and more on ourselves and less and less on others — including God.  We begin to take pride in our own skills, abilities, and independence.  These become our strengths…and effectively, our god.

As for the Babylonians, their “god” of strength was insufficient to save them.  Habakkuk later prophesizes Babylonia’s destruction, which history confirms.

Should we expect a different outcome, that our self-sufficiency will save us?

[See Habakkuk 1:11 and Habakkuk 2:2-19.]

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at