Barnes and Noble recently posted an article about how Self Help books are the second largest selling category of books they sell. That is incredibly funny to me because no such thing as “self-help” exists.
After all, if you COULD help yourself, you WOULD have done so already and the book would not be needed.
Self help is a fantasy. It is taught nowhere within the Bible. Many people actually believe that the sentence “The Lord helps those who help themselves” is in the Bible. It is not.
In fact, we could not be more helpless when it comes to helping ourselves. We are a people born from sin. The more we try to make ourselves better, the less we think we need God. God does not want that happening in the least. God wants us to depend on Him and when we do, we are living life the way it is supposed to be lived.
People like Tony Robbins have gotten absolutely rich off people with his books and by pumping them up to walk over hot coals to prove to them that they are capable of anything by themselves. Funny, I never remember anyone walking over hot coals in the Bible to prove how worthy they were.
What I remember are three young men (Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego) who absolutely refused to worship any other God than Jehovah God and therefore were thrown into a fiery furnace. When they walked out without so much as a scratch, self help died a lonely death. It was God who allowed them to walk out unscathed because of their total faith and trust in Him. In fact, here is what they said:
“King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
“But even if He does not” is such a powerful statement for these young men to make. They understand what God is all about. God does not need to save us to be God. God simply is God – and we are not and will never be.
Please do not waste your time on any form of self help book. The only book that will ever help you be better than you are at this minute is the Holy Bible. God tells you everything you need to know to make yourself be better and it is very plain in its instruction – be more like Jesus.
Want to lose weight? The Bible tells us, “a lazy man who refuses to work should not be allowed to eat.” Losing weight again is pretty simple, work more to burn more calories than you eat – period. End of story. Do you really need a book to tell you that a home cooked meal that includes more fruits and vegetables is better for you than fast food? I hope not!
Besides all of these “self help” books puts 100% of the focus of life directly on you and not on God. You can be thinner, better looking, have more money, have more friends, party more, and on and on. Where is God in all of that? I’ll tell you where He is – pushed to the side just like He is in most of our society today.
If you put God first in your life and ask for His help to make you a better person, He will. He already said He would and He cannot lie because it goes against His very nature.
You want to be better?
1 – Trust God
2 – Put God first in your life
3 – Focus time and energy on your personal relationship with God
4 – Actually DO what God tells you to do
5 – Reap the rewards of being a better person.
There is no such thing as self help. It is a concept invented to sell books and videos. You want to be thinner, have a better job, get married, etc – then tell God you are willing to do whatever He tells you to do in order for you to reach your goals, then be willing to do whatever He tells you to do, and as the Bible says, “go ahead and act as if you have received what you ask for because our God of Grace always delivers on His Word.” There’s your true self help.
With love and hope for the future,
Pastor Brad Komgenick