Self-sustainable vs. Independent

So, what does it mean to be self-sustainable and what is the difference if you were or want to be independent?

I’m going to use wikipedia’s definition as it really fits my perspective, though wikipedia isn’t a good source if this were a paper for school.

From wikipedia:

“A system is selfsustaining (or selfsufficient) if it can maintain itself by independent effort. The system selfsustainability is: the degree at which the system can sustain itself without external support. the fraction of time in which the system is selfsustaining.”

I like this definition for a few different reasons, but mostly because of the word system. First we need to define the word “system” for us to make better sense of the definition.

To me the word system is used for the community that God has put around us, as well as the property where He has placed us to grow.  Not just plants and animals, but to grow as believers in Jesus also.

The church as described in the book of Acts, describes this system perfectly, as Scripture tells us that people sold as others had need. Acts 2:45

They were self sufficient as a community, as they just didn’t take care of themselves, they took care of each other.

When we take apart the word independent, in – dependent, I see in the world and depend on that world’s system.

What do I mean.

The system of the world provides us much of our daily needs; electricity, water, food, fuel, to name a few.  These are all things that God provides for us as well, if we seek the knowledge and ability to use them.

We are never truly independent.  God has placed a system inside of our bodies that we are dependent upon. Our cardiovascular system and our respiratory system to name two. Both function self sufficiently together as a team, to the benefit of our life. One can not function without the other and it is not independent from God’s grace that allows us to live.

We are meant to function with God in order for us to be self-sustainable, not independent.

The challenge now is to get back to where we are self-sustaining with God, leaving our “in-dependent” living with the world.

What can you do to become more self-sustaining?



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