God Helps Those Who Help Themselves?
The phrase “God helps those who help themselves” is a motto that emphasizes the importance of self-initiative and agency. The expression is known worldwide and is used to motivate people to self-help. The phrase originated in Ancient Greece as “help the gods who help themselves” and maybe temporal.
Two of Aesop’s fables illustrate this, and a similar sentiment is found in ancient Greek drama. Although it is usually attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Algernon’s modern English term appears earlier in Sidney’s work.
An illustration from the fable by Walter Crane in Babies Own Aesop (1887)
The phrase is often interpreted as a quote from a scriptural source; however, it isn’t mentioned throughout the Bible. Some Christians have criticized this expression as contrary to the biblical message of God’s grace. A variant of the phrase can also be found in the Qur’an.
The sentiment appears in many ancient Greek tragedies. Sophocles wrote in his Philoctetes (c. 409 BC), “No good comes for the Ear holiday; and heaven does not help those who will not act.”
Euripides, in the fragmentary Hippolytus Veld (before 428 BCE), mentions, “First try yourself, and after you call upon God; to the worker, God lends Himself help.” In Tauris in his Iphigenia, Orestes says, “I think that Fortune sees our lives, safer than we are. But well stated: He who strives to make his gods equal to him.” I will try.”
A similar version of the saying “God himself helps those who dare,” better translated as “divinity helps those who dare” (Audantes Deus Ipse Euvat), Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Comes from 10.586. This phrase is spoken by Hippomenes when considering whether to enter into a one-legged race against Atalanta for his hand in marriage. However, if Hippomenes had been defeated, he would have been killed. Hippomenes decides to take on Atalanta in a race, and with the assistance from Venus, Hippomenes can win the race.
The same concept is found in the fable of Hercules and Wagner, first recorded by Baburius in the 1st century AD. A wagon falls into a ravine, or in later versions, gets stuck, but when its driver appeals to Hercules for help, he is asked to do the work himself. Aesop is believed to have the same story of the man who has contacted goddess Athena to help him after his vessel is damaged, and she is advised to take a risk to start swimming first. It has been speculated that both stories were composed to reflect a pre-existing proverb.
The French writer Jean de la Fontaine also adapted the first of these fables as Le Chartier Emborbe (Fables VI.18) and the moral ally-toi, Le Sil T’addera (Help yourself and heaven will help you too). ) attracts. Not long ago, George Herbert included “Help Yourself, and God Will Help You” in his collection of sayings, Jacula Prudentum (1651). But it was the English political theorist Algernon Sidney originated the now familiar term, “God helps those who help themselves”, apparently the first accurate rendition of the phrase. Benjamin Franklin later used it in his Poor Richards Almanack (1736) and is widely cited.
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While the term does not appear literally in Christian scriptures, these passages are used to suggest the ethics of personal agency and initiate:
Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, do it with all your heart because you do not work for men but the Lord.
Deuteronomy 28:8 – The Lord will bless your threshing floor, and on whomever, you lay your hand.
Proverbs 6:10-12 – A bit of sleeping, a bit of sleep, a handshake and rest, and poverty will strike the person like robbers and like an arm-worshipping man.
Proverbs 12:11 – He who works his land will have plenty of food, but he who pursues fantasies lacks justice.
And Proverbs 12:24 – Hardworking hands will rule, but in slave, labour laziness ends.
Proverbs 13:4 – The lazy have pity and get nothing, but the wishes of the hardworking are fulfilled.
Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared to fight on the battlefield The victory is to God.
Matthew 5:3-4 – God blesses those who understand His need, And the mourners will find peace.
1 Timothy 5:8 – If anyone does not take care of his kinsmen and his family in private, he has turned away from the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Dependence on God is not mentioned but is strongly implied in addition to helping oneself.
There is also a connection between the parable of the faithful slave and the parable of the ten virgins, which have a similar eschatological theme: be prepared for the day of reckoning.
Contrary to the agency, in other cases in the Bible insists on reliance on God and provides examples of Jesus helping or healing people who are not able to assist. in themselves, which implies that self-reliance and faith in God can complement. (See Mark 6:34; Mark 1:) 30-31; and Mark 10:46-52.)
Contemporary Thoughts And Controversies
The belief that it is a phrase in the Bible or even one of the Ten Commandments is common in the United States. Christian demographer and surveyor George Berna studied this phrase and Americans’ beliefs about the Bible.
“The Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves”, in a series of polls, 53% of Americans agree strongly, 22% agree somewhat, 7% disagree somewhat, 14% strongly disagreed, and 5% said they did not know.
A survey in the late 1990s showed that the majority (81%) believed the concept to be taught by the Bible, with another 82% stating “born again” with Christians being “non-born again”. Less likely to agree (68%) than Christians (81%). Despite not appearing in the Bible, the phrase tops a survey of the most widely known Bible verses. Seventy-five per cent of American teens said they believe this is the central message of the Bible.
Barna sees this as evidence of Americans’ growing unfamiliarity with the Bible and believes it reflects a change in values conflicting with the doctrine of grace in Christianity and “spiritual incompatible with Christianity”. Suggests self-reliance”. Christian minister Erwin Lutzer argues that there is some support for this saying in the Bible (2 Thessalonians 3:10, James 4:8); However, much more often, God helps those who cannot help themselves, which is about grace (Parable of the Pharisees and the People, Ephesians 2:4-5, Romans 4:4-5).
This statement is often criticized as supporting a quasi-Pelagic model of salvation, which most Christians characterize as heresy.
God helps those who help themselves in the Bible?
Does God help those who cannot help themselves?
The message of this proverb is very clear – pray to God in difficult times but at the same time do your best to overcome difficulties. If you fight adversity with faith in God and yourself, then you surely see a ray of hope.