According to "" the most common phrase that people mistakenly credit to the Bible is "God helps those who help themselves". It's not found anywhere in scripture, but people think it is because it sounds like a Bible proverb and it has the word "God" in it.The earliest recording of this saying is actually from Aesop's fable "Hercules and the Waggoner." A man's wagon got stuck in a muddy road, and he prayed for Hercules to help. Hercules appeared and said, "Get up and put your shoulder to the wheel." The moral given was "The gods help them that help themselves." Aesop was a Greek writer who lived from 620 to 564 BC, but obviously did not contribute to the Bible.

So it's not in the Bible; but is it true? Does God only help those who put some effort forth?

If you answer "yes" then you can quickly move away from justification by faith in the work of Jesus Christ and start taking personal satisfaction in having earned the help and grace of God. But if you say, "no" then you can become lazy and apathetic while you claim to be "resting in the sovereignty of God". Either yes or no can lead to error in this issue depending on the context.

Most people who quote the proverb from Aesop are applying it to someone who is passive and avoiding difficult work, but claiming to have faith in God's power to work it all out. In that context it has some truth to it, but there's a better way of explaining it. It doesn't have the same ring to it, but the proverb should be something more like, "God has already helped you know what to do; now do it!"

If I am capable of seeing what I need to do and how to do it, then God has already been helping me. The understanding is from God and the ability to do something about it is also from God. The fact is that unless God helps me, I can't help myself.

So don't sit around, passively waiting for God to make your life amazing and easy. Get up and do what you know you should do today and then do it again tomorrow. As you do; don't ever lose sight of your need for God's direction and strength. If you do that, you will be able to look back on your life and say, "I know that God helped me" and He will get the glory for a life well lived.

Floyd Yutzy