As I look back on my forty years of counseling, I must admit I didn’t always give the best advice. But I believe Paul Hudson’s counsel for a successful life may be the worst advice I’ve ever heard. “Never depend on anyone but yourself.”
Paul Hudson, an American entrepreneur and amateur advisor, writes for the “Elite Daily.” His pop-culture counsel is sadly misleading and hurtful.
For example, would you give Hudson’s counsel to a young heroin addict, an abused wife, a raped teenage girl, a recently-informed terminal cancer patient, or a double amputee injured in Afghanistan? His article boasts that 3.5 million social media users like his advice:
“We are completely alone in this world and anyone that tells you otherwise is simply lying to you or is too ignorant to understand what it is they are truly saying. You yourself are the only person that you can and ought to rely on.” Why You Should Never Depend On Anyone But Yourself, Elite Daily
The modern mantra “Success through Independence” is an age-old, naïve but deceptive myth that has led many young people, adults, and couples to self-made misery, confusion, and loneliness.
As a counselor, I spent years listening to hundreds of sad stories from people who tried the “I’ll-do-it-my-way” and “me-alone” route. They all sought counsel because that age old way was not working.
Jesus’ counsel about the attempt to make it alone was clear. He taught that the independent life has about as much chance of being successful as trying to grow a healthy branch that’s not connected to the vine, “Without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Our Creator-God made you and me to live and work in a totally different way. We are built to live in a relationship with Him and with others. When you and I put our faith in him (depend on him and not just ourselves), our whole worldview changes. We realize we are never alone.
Where would Moses have been if he depended only on himself? What about Noah enduring the flood, David facing Goliath, the leper, the blind man, and hundreds of others in the Bible? What advice would they give you and me?
Which advice do you prefer? Hudson: Never depend on anyone but yourself. Or Jesus: Depend on me, comfort one another, and I will give you abundant and eternal life.
Make your choice now. Close your eyes and tell your waiting Heavenly Father.