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We think that God wants us to try something on our own first, and then come to him in prayer for help only after we’ve worked at it and can’t figure it out. We hear the saying, “God helps those who help themselves” and think it’s true. Many people even believe it’s in the Bible. It’s not. It actually comes from Greek mythology.

A man is pushing his cart along a dirt road and it gets stuck in the mud. He sits down on the ground next to the cart and asks the gods to free his cart. Hercules appears say, “Get up, man, and put your shoulder to the wheel. The gods help them that help themselves.”

This focus on doing things ourselves without asking for God’s help leads us to believe we actually did them without God’s help, which in turn grows to our believing we don’t need God’s help.

And if we believe don’t need God’s help, we can easily believe that we don’t need him or his rules. We start doing our will instead of God’s, and the more we do it the more prideful we become. Our pride causes us to focus on our will which in turn makes us even more proud of ourselves. It’s like a self-licking ice-cream cone.