The Lie of “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves”

An Old Saying

There is an old saying that has floated around for ages. Have you heard it? Have you quoted it like you were quoting the Bible? It goes like this…

“God helps those who help themselves.”

Oh, I understand the thinking behind this statement. We have always had too many people who would rather ask for handouts than work for anything. As a matter of fact, the Bible has a few things to say about those who refuse to work…

People who refuse to work are: 

  • Brothers to those who destroy (Proverbs 18:9)
  • Big dreamers, but don’t do anything (Proverbs 13:4)
  • Worse than unbelievers, or “infidels” (1 Timothy 5:8)

However, it is terribly UNBIBLICAL to suggest that “God only helps those who help themselves.” Ask yourself the following questions…

  • When Isaac was on the altar, who provided a sacrifice?
  • When the children of Israel were pinned between a blood-thirsty Egyptian army and the Red Sea, were they told to go ahead and try to swim first?
  • Before Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the furnace, were they expected to use some diplomacy and bow down just a little?
  • Before the aforementioned Jewish boys were thrown into the fiery furnace, were they expected to spit into the flames?
  • When Daniel was thrown into the den of lions, should he have smacked the lions around before God closed their mouths?
  • Did Jesus ask the crippled man to crawl a little first?
  • Did Jesus ask the blind man to go get an eye exam after trying a little saline solution?
  • Did Jesus ask for a plan from the hungry 5,000? Did He ask for an offering?
  • Did God ask Paul and Silas to first yank on their prison chains, then kick a little on the gates?
  • Did Jesus expect the demon-possessed man to watch his mouth, clean himself up, and get his act together?
  • Should Lazarus have made some effort on his part before Jesus raised him from the dead?

No, I didn’t think so! 

The Truth Is..

When the chains are unbreakable…When the disease is irreversible…When the money is unobtainable…When the marriage is unsavable…When the enemy is unstoppable…

When all hope is lost…

God helps those who CAN’T help themselves!

Help me, O LORD my God! Oh, save me according to Your mercy, That they may know that this [is] Your hand–[That] You, LORD, have done it! – Psalm 109:26-27 NKJV

In a fire? Lions ready to pounce? Bound by chains? Hungry and without hope? There is Help!

  • When I was lost, He found me!
  • When I was dead, He gave me life!
  • When I was blind, He made me see!
  • When I was an orphan, He adopted me!
  • When I was condemned, He took my place!

Thank God! He helped me when I COULDN’T help myself!



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9 responses to “The Lie of “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves”

  1. momtoaddie

    So love this post! As a high school teacher at a Christian school, I would like to borrow your post. At a conference last Friday, one of the speakers suggested having a “heartness table” where the teacher presents a reading or idea and directs the high school students to discuss their thoughts on the topic. This would be a very good topic to present to the students!! I am also very thankful for God intervening for me and my family, too!

  2. I’ve heard this so many times, right along with “cleanliness is next to godliness.” Always best to check the Bible before relying on words many believe to be true simply because they’ve become so common. Thanks for the post. Happy Monday!

  3. Amen! Someone quoted this to me and it caught me off guard, now I know why- because it isn’t biblical. Thanks, brother! Quotes like these just increase my personal time spent in the Word of God so I can know the truth from neat sounding old sayings. May God continue to bless the work of your hands!!

  4. Pingback: The Lie of “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves” | The Recovering Legalist | Smart

  5. “Did Jesus ask the blind man to go get an eye exam after trying a little saline solution?” <— This is great. I love how you have so much Scriptural evidence to support your claims!

  6. Mona Jackson

    This quote come up in Bible study last night. While I knew it was not a Biblical quote, I was not prepared to give a sound answer either. May I borrow your post to share with those who attend Bible study?

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