Self-Help Vs. God-Help
Having been a self-help advocate and teacher for many years I have recently come across a number of articles and books that have challenged this theory and label of material, ideas and inspiration designed to help us prosper and find success, peace and happiness.
Let me be clear I am not against personal growth as long as its motives are grounded in gaining skills, attitudes and mindsets that help us travel through life with compassion, wisdom, understanding and joy but of late considering I have read over 2000 self-help books during my life and written a few, I have come to the conclusion that self-help is a far less beneficial life approach if it doesn’t include what I am referring here to God-help.
For years I have believed, thought, shared and even preached now and then, “God never gives you anything you can’t handle.” I was wrong. God always gives us stuff we can’t handle, but He never gives us stuff He can’t handle.
When we think or believe that we can navigate life’s challenges alone without some help from Him we are in serious denial. Think for a moment – how many times during your life have you been in a corner, up against a wall or on your knees due to distress, despair, discouragement, grief or any other negative life circumstance. Did you blame God? Did you feel abandoned? Did you feel alone? Did you feel like you had nowhere to turn? Did you feel you were out of choices, options or acceptable alternatives? I have done all of these, but in the end sooner or later (according to His schedule) He showed up and guided me, sustained me, helped me or led me out of the darkness and the valley and into the light and understanding.
None of this ever came from a self-help book or Guru. Yes, I frantically looked in all of my favorite sources for answers, ideas and help, but in the end until I finally turned to Him was I able to be set free from the fear, anxiety and concern for my circumstances.
Been there? Oh, I’m sure you have your favorite self-help authors, books and guides and often turn to them for guidance and solutions to life’s many issues but let me ask you – if these helped you – did you ever find yourself in similar situations again causing you to once again look to these same resources for help?
The answer is sooner or later until we can learn to listen to our inner voice (spirit or God trying to teach and guide us) we will continue to try and solve all of our life challenges alone and I can tell you from much personal experience – yes these can help – but in the end until you come to ask, trust, rely on God for answers you will often continue down the wrong path experiencing repeat outcomes from self-directed decisions, choices and actions.
Yes, we all have free will, but again let me ask you has your free will and its choices ever let you down? Yes, we all have experience but have your experiences ever been poor teachers for present situations. Yes, we all have a certain degree of knowledge and wisdom, but has this ever caused you to make poor choices or decisions? And your point is Tim. . .
My point is that we all have access to a source of guidance that its purpose is to help us live, happy, productive, prosperous and joyful lives, but until we come to trust this source we will tend to find ourselves in repeat negative circumstances until we finally learn to seek the guidance and wisdom of
God-help and just not-self-help.
“The one thing God is after is character.”