don’t do it yourself

There’s a principle in economics called “comparative advantage.” I think it’s just brilliant. Basically, it explains why the world is better and life is easier when we trade goods and services. If you’re a really good accountant, for example, it makes sense to earn money that way and then pay someone else to bake your cakes and mow your lawn. If you’re an exceptionally skilled baker, however, you might earn your money with cakes and pay someone else to do your taxes. In the end, the baker and accountant are better off trading with each other than trying to do it all themselves.

As women (and humans), we seem to take a lot of pride in doing things ourselves. Whether it’s making our grandmothers’ cookie recipes from scratch or painting the spare bedroom, “I did it myself” sounds much nicer than “I paid someone to do that for me.” For many of us, DIY is simply a reality of circumstance, when our day job doesn’t pay enough for the luxuries of eating out or hiring a house cleaner. And sometimes we just feel like trying something new. It is empowering to see all we can accomplish with a few supplies and a YouTube tutorial.

On the other hand, it’s exhausting! To come home at the end of a long shift (or a day full of child rearing) and expect ourselves to take on 5 other jobs as well…this is not a recipe for health and success.

I think it’s time we learn a new motto: Don’t do it yourself.

Consider: if you are a Christian, your entire future is secured by something you could not do yourself. No one could pay the penalty for sin but Christ, and so we put our hope in God and not in our own strength.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

We see this idea picked up in one of my favorite worship verses, from “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.”

I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.


In a culture where it is normal to boast in our talents and strive to DIY, I love the promise of these words. When we boast in nothing but Christ, we let go of so many expectations and pressures that weigh us down. We are free to do our best and know that is enough, because Christ will always have grace to meet us.

What have you been trying to do yourself that just isn’t working?

Whom can you ask for help? Friends and family? Paid workers? God? Ask away!

Is there anyone in your life whom you could help with your skills and talents? Take some time right now to ask God to bring a specific person to mind who needs your help and/or encouragement.

As for me, I’ve ditched my craft supplies but kept my baking cabinet stocked in case someone is too busy to make themselves a cookie (this happens all too often). May God bless you as you let go and trust in His unconditional love this week. 🙂

2 thoughts on “don’t do it yourself

  1. It took me into my 40’s to find I was striving for an illusive, irrelevant fulfillment when trying to do too much alone. Years into a transformation where I have better learned to let go, trust God and find what He wanted it to look like, I am thankful to witness God send me out two by two or more on the fronts I serve. I also see where scope and scale are so different than the grandiose idea I initially thought had come to me. I have found beauty and simplicity in doing small things with great love. His perspective is so much better! I commend you in your youth for finding your pearl, this wisdom and a lovely voice. May your heart continue to overflow.

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