DIY Myth: Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps

bootstraps, image text by Adobe SparkHelp! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!

Tumbles and stumbles. My worst moments in life. Like the time the short-cut down the embankment proved the wrong way—for me anyway. Flailing legs and arms on display for the whole world. Well, at least the people close enough to catch the show before the show.

And the times life knocked me off my feet in spirit. Culture implores me to pull myself up by my bootstraps. But is it even possible?

Have you ever fallen? Physically? What about on the inside? So, did you get back on your feet? And by yourself?

The bootstraps myth

Imagine you set out on a nice afternoon stroll through the countryside. But you trip over a branch and tumble to the ground. You are alone. No problem. Firmly grab ahold of your bootstraps (only one finger fits through the loop) and pull yourself to an upright position. Simple. Easy-peasy. A do-it-yourself task. No help necessary.

Now envision this same scenario taking place on the inside of you—deep within. The innermost part of you tumbles and you can’t get up. So, go ahead. Do it. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

But it’s an impossible feat. A complete myth. And a lie from the enemy. If we tumble in body or spirit, a DIY project’s not a suitable technique.

Life turns hard without fair warning.

The do-it-yourself lie bootstraps, image text by Adobe Spark

Hello, my name is I-can’t-do-life-by-myself. 

Life’s trees grow large branches bearing the weight of adversity and sorrows. They eventually snap, falling as debris cluttering our path. Also, pesky twigs of weaker, yet obvious hardships often entangle us on the journey.

We trot along, whistling on our merry way, when a branch out of no where trips us. We stumble in a surprised gaze wondering how we missed it.

I know, all too well, about tumbles in life.

My dad dies. I lose a job. I deal with a troubled relationship. Ministry’s in a difficult season. Life takes an unexpected detour.

Spirit, soul, and heart flailing for the whole world to see.

Discouragement, depression, stress, anxiety, and their sidekicks do not play favorites. But they welcome all into the group. No clicks or a secluded membership. No one is exempt.

What if we aren’t wearing boots?

Things happen. Life happens. And what if we aren’t wearing boots?

Do you think Christ told people in his day to pull themselves up by their sandal straps? In reading what we know He did say, rest assured His message and a DIY philosophy clash.

And when we look at Jesus’ actions, it’s crystal clear He raised people out of life’s pits. He raised the sick to healing, raised the despairing ones to peace, and raised the dead to life.

bootstraps, image courtesy of Adobe SparkJesus lifts us up…out of despair, sin, and spiritual death.

We need Jesus to come to our rescue.

And we need people. People who display Jesus with skin in despairing moments.

“If you will humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, in his good time he will lift you up. Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you” (1 Peter 5:6-7 TLB, emphasis mine).

“After you have suffered a little while, our God, who is full of kindness through Christ, will give you his eternal glory. He personally will come and pick you up, and set you firmly in place, and make you stronger than ever” (1 Peter 5:10 TLB, emphasis mine).

Help! I've fallen and I can't get up! God never intended for Christians to be DIY people. #blogger Click To Tweet

So, stick to DIY home, craft or other projects. In life’s tumbles and stumbles, enlist the aid of those who will and can help you.

Be encouraged! Christ is the best puller-up-er around!

© 2016 by Karen Friday, All rights reserved

*Images courtesy of Adobe Spark.

Post part of the #gritupandgo link up.


January 5, 2017 at 11:21 am | Uncategorized

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Lauren says:

This was perfect timing for me! “What if we aren’t wearing boots!” Awesome!

Karen says:

Thank you, Lauren, for commenting. Yes, culture tries to convince us we can do “it”… a whole range of things by ourselves. But with all the stumbles and tumbles this life can bring, we need others and we need Jesus to rescue us! 🙂

Meg says:

Our independent philosophies here in the west make no sense. I love the image you paint in my mind. It’s a really ludicrous charge…pulling our own bootstraps. What a quirky, truthful way to present the gospel Karen. I love this one!

Karen says:

Thank you, Meg, and for commenting. I just added your #GritUpAndGo link up URL at the end. Appreciate you setting it up. Will definitely be participating. Blessings!

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