“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:5-8 (ESV)
Have you been in a book store lately? Have you noticed the self-help section? It is booming, filled with self-help books on every topic, anything you can possibly think of. If you cannot figure it out yourself, then someone else already has, and they are just waiting for you to buy their book so you can reap the benefits of their knowledge.
Now, in all truth and fairness, there is really nothing wrong with self-help books. If I need to know how to build a simple cabinet, then I can buy one and I can build it. If I want to know how to train my puppy, there is a book for it. And if I need help with organizing my house, then there is bound to be one that can actually help me to achieve that task.
But as in all things, there will be good with the bad. The bad is what I am addressing here. And there is plenty of it.
There are books about how to “find yourself.” And not only that, but the many methods you can use to solve that problem. If you don’t know your purpose in life, there will be many suggestions as to how to find out what yours is. There are books about love, and romance, and marriage. There are books about child rearing written by those who have never had the experience either of being a parent or even just having been around children. But they consider themselves experts, and because they have a book about it all, so does the buying public.
I tend to lean towards the belief that many of these kinds of self-help books are not good things. They do nothing to really put us on the right path. They only serve to fill the author’s pockets with the public’s money, and leave most of the readers wondering why they cannot achieve the results the writer claims will be theirs after they have read the book.
We all need help at different times and stages of our lives. There is nothing wrong with reading self-help books written by valid Christian writers. There is the difference. When it comes to important human issues, such as marriage and divorce, or “finding yourself,” we should always be particular about which authors we choose to read. For instance, there are many very well-known Christian preachers and teachers, some who hold professional degrees in things such as psychology, or medicine, who when you read them, you really will find value in what they have written. You also have those who are sound teachers of the Word, and if you take what they say and compare it to the Bible, you will realize you are being told truth. But one thing still remains about all self-help books … they should never be used as a substitute for the written Word of God.
The Holy Bible is the only true self-help book we need. It is God’s gift to us, a living and breathing hand book for living our lives, and for learning to love and know the Lord. What can be better for us?
God sent Jesus to this earth to save us all. And He did so. He made it possible for us to be able to go directly to the Father with our cares, concerns, and worries. We can kneel on our knees in the glorious Throne Room of Grace, and never be afraid of recrimination, what we are wearing, or what we may have done. He is there, waiting to meet with us. Always.
Jesus is Our Hope. He is the one constant in our lives we can depend on. He will never detour around us, or hand us a self-help book and pat us on the head and send us on our way. He will never come up with a short-term plan to improve us. He works to change us and keep us for life. He is the Lord.
“I lift my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2
Where does your help come from, and how have you received it? Please leave a comment here or go to www.mystoryofgrace.com and share with us!