Are You Too Proud to Ask God for Help?

Break the Cycle of Pride and Learn How to Ask for Help as a Christian Man

Too Proud to Ask for Help
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If pride is keeping you from asking God for help, your Christian life won't stand a chance. This devotional is meant to encourage Christian men to break the cycle of pride and get into the habit of asking God for help.

Key Bible Verse

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. (Proverbs 16:18–19, NIV)

Too Proud to Ask for Help

In the 2005 film Cinderella Man, struggling prizefighter James J. Braddock, played by Russell Crowe, has to make a hard choice.

It’s the heart of the Great Depression. He can’t find work, the electricity has been turned off in their cramped apartment, and his wife and three children are going hungry. Reluctantly, Braddock goes to the government relief office. A clerk hands him money to pay the bills and buy food.

We Christian men can be like that: too proud to ask for help. Except it’s not the relief office we’re afraid to go to. It’s God.

Somewhere along the way, we got the idea that it’s wrong to ask for help, that it’s something no real man should do. I was raised on John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies, where tough guys made their own way. They didn’t need anybody’s help, and even if John Wayne did have to bring in his buddies, they were a bunch of hard, macho types who volunteered for the fight. He never had to humiliate himself and ask them.

You Won’t Stand a Chance

But you can’t live the Christian life that way. It’s impossible. You can’t go it alone and resist temptation, make wise decisions, and get back up when you get knocked down. If you don’t ask God for help, you won’t stand a chance.

Pride is a funny thing. Psalm 10:4 tells us: "In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God." (NIV) The psalmist recognized this shortcoming in men thousands of years ago. It hasn’t gotten any better since.

Women joke that men will drive around lost for an hour rather than stop and ask directions. We’re that way in the rest of our life as well. God, the source of all wisdom, is eager to give us the direction we need, yet we’ll take one dead end after another rather than ask him for help.

Jesus was different from us. He constantly sought his Father’s leading in prayer:

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35, ESV; see also 6:46; 14:32; Luke 4:42)

The Lord's character was flawless, free from the pride we display. Instead of trying to make it on his own, he depended heavily on God the Father and the Holy Spirit.

If our pride weren’t bad enough, we men are also slow learners. We refuse God’s help, mess things up, then a year or five years or ten years later we do the same thing. It’s hard for us to overcome our need for independence.

How to Break the Cycle

How do we break this cycle of pride? How do we get into the habit of asking God for help, not just in big things but every single day?

First, we remember what Christ has already done for us. He saved us from our sins, something we could never do on our own:

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:24–25, NIV)

Jesus Christ became the pure, spotless sacrifice we could never be, the only offering that would satisfy God’s perfect justice. His willingness to die in our place proves his immense love. That kind of love will deny us no good thing:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17, ESV)

Second, we reflect on our need for help. Every Christian man has enough failures in his past to remind him that going it alone simply hasn’t worked. We shouldn’t be embarrassed by our failures; we should be embarrassed because we were too arrogant to accept God’s help. But it’s never too late to remedy that.

Third, we should learn from other Christian men who have humbled themselves and daily rely on God for help. We can see the victories in their lives. We can marvel at their maturity, their calmness, their faith in a trustworthy God. Those same admirable qualities can become ours, too.

There’s hope for every one of us. We can live the life we’ve always dreamed of. Pride is a sin we can overcome, and we start by asking God for help.