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When we say we're seeking for help from God. We look up to him. Is this correct ?

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  • [to seek help from someone]
    – Lambie
    Feb 8, 2020 at 21:38

1 Answer 1

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The word to be careful of here is "up". To look up to X is an idiom meaning "to have respect or admiration for X," and implies that X is seen as something of a role model.

Omitting the word "up", to look to X is an idiom with the meaning you want. It means to rely on X for help. Usually with this phrase you would also add what you are hoping for. For example, "I looked to my parents for support", or "He looked to his friends for help."

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  • Agreed, this is an interesting question to illustrate the subtle distinction between "look to" and "look up to".
    – Andrew
    Oct 4, 2016 at 15:00
  • So what do I say here to imply seeking God's help?
    – Ardis Ell
    Oct 4, 2016 at 15:14
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    @ArdisEll You can say, "We look to God for help."
    – cbh
    Oct 4, 2016 at 15:23
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    @ArdisEll Or you can leave "help" implicit. e.g. "When the church has financial problems, we look to God." What you're looking to God for is implied by the context (if you have problems, you typically look for help or solutions), so the "for help" can be ellipsed.
    – R.M.
    Oct 4, 2016 at 19:02
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    I think I would add that, although this is a very good and correct answer, you will likely be understood either way, given the right context. If someone said to me, "I trust in God. When life gets tough, I look up to him", I wouldn't be confused. I think this is because in the context of God/religion, "up" is often used to mean "toward Heaven" and it would probably be understood this way due to the context. Still, it is much better to say "look to him" instead.
    – elmer007
    Oct 4, 2016 at 19:57

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