/ / / Is Christianity a Crutch? {Matthew 5}

Is Christianity a Crutch? {Matthew 5}

When we read the Bible we see how broken and crippled we are without grace. Maybe Christianity is a crutch for those who know how broken they truly are. #Biblestudy #Matthew #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

Some people say Christianity is a crutch and it’s intended as an insult.

In our self-reliant, independent, pull yourself up by your boot-straps culture, this is offensive.

Last December, I shared about my son’s foot surgery which included a bone graph and metal implant.  Following the surgery, he wore a cast and then a walking boot and now is walking quite well. Praise the Lord!

Alex's surgery collage

So guess what that means?

It’s time to do surgery on the other foot! 🙁  Later this month, we will do it all. over. again. (Please pray for us!)

When Alex began using his crutches, he was slow and it was difficult.  But by the end of four weeks, he was cruising at top speed through the house!  Thank goodness for the crutches!

So if crutches are helpful and good – why is it an insult to call Christianity a crutch?

This past week the Good Morning Girls read Matthew chapters 1 through 5.

In Matthew 5, Jesus went up on the mountainside to deliver the ultimate sermon, the Sermon on the Mount.

These are the words he chose to say first…

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

In the Greek, blessed means happy and poor in spirit means humble.

Happy are the humble.

Those who recognize their spiritual poverty and need for a Savior, will inherit the kingdom of heaven.

Abraham was poor in spirit when he said to God, “who am I but dust and ashes”. (Genesis 18:27)

Jacob was poor in spirit when he said, “I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant.” (Genesis 32:10)

Moses was poor in spirit when he said, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt? . . . Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” (Exodus 3:11; 4:10).

John the Baptist was poor in spirit when he said, “He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.” (Matthew 3:11)

Humble men.

Blessed men.

Who is blessed?  Not everyone.  Only those who acknowledge their inadequacies, their impurity, and their powerlessness to save themselves.

Those who can admit they are…

crippled.

Crippled by sin.

In need of a Savior.

 “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6)

Matt Chandler says:

This realization should create humility in us and cut the legs out from under Christian swagger and arrogance. We didn’t do anything. We got saved by God. We didn’t pull ourselves out of the muck and the mire. We were pulled out of the muck and mire. We were stuck. He unstuck us. We were dirty. He cleaned us.

We didn’t pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. That’s not the gospel. We were rescued and saved by grace alone through faith alone while we were still weak. God alone gets the glory.

When we understand that, we stop leaning on the fragile, pathetic crutches of work, family, money, possessions or ministry that we have used to validate ourselves. We repent before the Lord and begin to find satisfaction in Him.

We are all crippled.

Christ is our crutch.  He bears the weight of our brokenness.

This is grace.

Grace speaking into our darkness, guilt and shame.

Grace speaking into our fears and failures.

Grace speaking into our hurts and trials.

Jesus did not say – don’t think low of yourself – you are wonderful! You are talented! You are great!

No instead he says:

I love you.

I forgive you.

I will help you.

You are not alone.

Are you weary?

Lean on me.

Let’s put an end to hobbling around.  Let’s put an end to self-righteousness.  Let’s put an end to self-sufficiency.

Happy are those who lean hard on Jesus!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

**It’s Fellowship Friday**

It’s YOUR turn.  Share one thing you learned in your quiet time this week!

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26 Comments

    1. Yes! The Greek word for blessed is makarios- which means to be happy or blessed.

      So as we read the Sermon on the Mount – we can replace the word blessed over and over with the word “happy” over and over. It really makes His sermon come alive!

      Courtney 🙂

        1. Hi Beth – at home I use the John MacArthur and John Calvin commentaries and a Strong’s concordance. Online, I like BibleStudyTools.com. They have great free commentaries and concordances available. My favorite commentary on-line is Matthew Henry’s Complete
          Commentary.

          Hope that helps!
          Courtney

  1. Dear Courtney,

    Thank you for this wonderful blog post. You have no idea how great this bible study is for me. I am learning so much, not only by reading the Bible but also by your posts and from the GMG International group I am in. This all leads to a deeper relationship between God and me. And there is so much more to learn! Thank you! Lots of love, Yvonne

  2. Love reading your posts! Would like to point out that we can’t be saved by grace alone and faith alone. It is by grace through faith, (there is a difference). In love, sheri

  3. Hi.
    I was thinking about the crutch analogy and I never thought of our like that, it is a unique perspective. To extend that concept, I feel like Christianity is led like a crutch and more like an ironman suit. With crutches you are still slower and weaker than your normal self. The ironman suit was life sustaining, keeping his heart alive and giving him strength and beyond what is humanly possible. A crutch is an aid to help you get by a little awkwardly, but Christ to me is more like a super power suit that I depends on for life itself and that gives me strength and abilities beyond my wildest dreams.
    I wanted to share where your post took me since I never would have took the time to think about it with that perspective. Thank you for challenging us so encouragingly.

    1. Amy, I really like your addition of the “Ironman suit”! I have a soon to be 5 year old son, and this would be a perfect analogy for me to use with him since he loves Ironman and can get distracted in devotions a lot! 😉 Youre right–when we accept Christ as Savior He does make us clean and brand new on the inside. We gain His strength (in our weakness) and His power from Holy Spirit living inside us! Love this and I love Courtney’s blog post, too!! I always leave feeling excited to dig in the Word.
      Leslie

  4. Great post! This is exactly what God has been showing me this week. I was trying so hard to display to my unsaved relatives that things are so much better in Christ, that I was probably coming across as arrogant. I need to be real with them and allow them to witness the grace and mercy as I walk the path of as a new widow and mom. They already know my faith is strong. Just like a pair of crutches, I need to quietly allow them to see His support in my life.

    1. Donna,
      I pray that you will remember to call on the Lord when you are tempted to get discouraged and feel alone. Satan definitely doesn’t want you to witness to anyone. I pray that God will give you wisdom and His strength to continue being a testimony. Don’t give up! Look up!

  5. I Loved this post. I have read comments on social media all the time about how we use, Not Christianity but God as a crutch. But I honestly believe God is our crutch. At least for those who are humble and not too self righteous to admit it. I need Jesus.I need him to help me hobble along until I can walk upright. And after I walk upright, I still need him. Never ashamed to admit that. I have never felt any love from anyone until I came to him. Worthy are you Lord Because you saved me. Thank you Jesus. Thank you God and thank you Courtney.

  6. AMEN! Wow there is a lot in Matthew chapter 5, I’m thankful it landed on Friday and I can take the whole weekend to savor it and let it sink in. Blessing stop you Courtney….mwah!

  7. I learned that I CAN DO IT! I can rise before my children and husband! I can concentrate while I read at 5:00 am (with some help from my strong coffee)! I CAN DO IT! Praise be to God! This was my first week to participate, and I have seen a profound difference in my life, and the lives of my husband and boys. I am more patient, loving, calm, and productive when I start my day off with God’s word. My words are kinder, my hands are more comforting, and my ears listen better when I am walking with my King. I learned that it is necessary for me to have my precious quiet time if I want to be the wife, mother, daughter, co-worker, and friend that God calls me to be. “In the morning when I rise, GIVE ME JESUS!” Matthew 1-5 has been a truly beautiful message this week. Thank you! (Oh, and I could study Matthew chapter 5 for a month, and still not be able to pull every bit of goodness out of that amazing chapter!)

  8. My favorite part: “When we understand that, we stop leaning on the fragile, pathetic crutches of work, family, money, possessions or ministry that we have used to validate ourselves. We repent before the Lord and begin to find satisfaction in Him.”
    Convicting! I know I do the wrong things to “feel good” and I need to constantly recheck myself. Thanks for a GREAT post!

    1. I agree. Many of us lean on crutches, of various types, as a way to seek fulfillment or as a way to simply get by. Life can be tough! And while the crutches seem to be supportive, they can be damaging.

      I have crutches, too, and am learning to rid my life of those crutches. Nothing has fulfilled me or supported me like my faith and my relationship with God.

      This was a great post! Thank you to all of you for your knowledge and open sharing.

  9. Ahh…what a great post! Gonna catch up this weekend, I’m at the end of a 7 day stretch at work right now..

    Will definitely pray for your sweet boy Alex! Bless him and hope that all goes just as well as it did the first time with his surgery.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Hugs,

    Kelly

  10. i’ve learned that when i had to work double shifts this week, for several days,…and missed that time w/ the Bible and Jesus, that i needed my “crutch” more than ever and that my daily walk wasn’t the same. more fear, more whining, more tiredness,…more of everything except Jesus.

  11. I love this! The whole point of being a Christian is being able to lean on someone stronger than we are and letting him carry us through our weaknesses.

    By the way, I totally linked up the wrong post here. (too many pages open at once) I will have no hurt feelings if you remove it 🙂

  12. Help!! I’ve lost my crutch and lost my way and I’m struggling to get back on track 🙁
    The chapters don’t seem to be making any sense to me any more, I’ve lost my momentum and fallen way, way behind. I’ve been praying hard for guidance and clarity but feel like I’m talking to an empty universe!
    I know the advice will be to read the bible, but which bits?? Where is the chapter with the answers? I Listen for God but hear nothing. I love my crutch and without it I can hardly walk.
    Sorry to sound a little crazy but I’d welcome any suggestions please?

  13. Those who call Christianity are crutch do no realize that all that they are and all that they have accomplished, is by the grace of a loving God. They are self-sufficient and fear appearing weak. But we as believers, know that when we are weak, He is strong! If being a Christian is a crutch then thank God. I not only changed the way I walked, it saved my life!

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