A friend asked if I believed the often quoted saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”The concept is nothing new. It’s been around for centuries, and perhaps a few millennia. Benjamin Franklin, noted for his wise sayings, is often given credit for those words, but four hundred years before Christ, a Greek philosopher wrote, “No good e’er comes of leisure purposeless. And heaven ne’er helps the men who will not act.”
This is the problem with a popular saying. We believe it without question when we hear it repeatedly, since everybody seems to already know it’s true. Perhaps that explains why my friend had a shocked look when I said, “No, I don’t believe that.”
“Really?” he said. “What do you believe?”
Any idea is perfectly reasonable unless you have evidence to the contrary. It just so happened that I did. “Look at all the stories in the Bible where God helped those who couldn’t help themselves. And then those who tried to help themselves were in big trouble, like Achan who kept the wedge of gold or King Saul who decided to go against God’s instruction, saving the animals for sacrifice.”
“Yeah, I guess.” He seemed less than convinced. “You would think, with all the verses in the Bible, at least one verse would tell us what’s wrong with that statement.”
I smiled. How many do you want? I could think of several, but he only asked for one. “If you love God and you’re working to fulfill his purpose, you don’t have to worry about the result because it will always be good. Otherwise, you’re on your own, and that can’t be good.”
“Where in the Bible does it say that?”
“Turn to Romans 8:28 and see if that’s not what the apostle Paul was saying. God doesn’t always help those who help themselves, but he will always help those who are helping him.”

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