Friday, January 09, 2009

Maybe this is just me, but. . .

. . . aren't Christian "self-help" books an oxymoron?

For years, the "self help" section of Christian bookstores has always struck me as odd, even humorous.

I can understand those without Jesus searching for ways to help themselves, but Christians? Christ followers? The King of the universe, the Creator loves us. He's our friend! What more do we need?

As for helping ourselves, the concept is not found in Scripture. First of all, we're are commanded to die to ourselves. If the self help book is about how to kill our flesh and desires so we can surrender wholeheartedly to Him, then go for it.

Jesus tells us to take up our cross and follow Him.  Mark 8:35, "Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospels will save it."

We need not to help ourselves, but cry out for Him to help us. To heal us. To teach us to die to ourselves. When pain or hurt strikes us, that's when we lean into Him. His leadership over us is full of love and mercy, of grace and it is perfect!

Why do we need more of man's wisdom? Self help books are just theories concluded from man studying man. It's a network of information.

But Jesus brings to us revelation. He is the Tree of Life. He knows us perfectly. There are no theories with Him. He has perfect understanding and knowledge.

Psalm 62 tells us He is willing and able to answer our cry. Romans 8:11 reminds us the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us.

John 16, Jesus tells us He'll give us the Spirit, the Comforter who will teach and lead us.

Man's wisdom or God's? I choose His. What most of us need is not ways to help ourselves, but ways to get outside and away from ourselves. We're too "me" focused.

Let's not look inward to our own souls when we hurt, but look to the indwelling Christ for wisdom and knowledge that surpasses understanding. Let's lean into Him. He will do exceeding, abundantly more than we could ask or think. Eph 3.

"Lord, we pray, give to us a spirit of wisdom, revelation and the knowledge of You. Root and ground us in Your love."

I don't want Rachel help, I want Jesus help. I've seen what man can do, I prefer to see what God can do.


Sharon Hayes said...

Another great post, a wonderful little teaching. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with all of us.

I love you so much and am so very proud.

Michelle V said...

This is so true! Great post and thank you for sharing that word! I agree with you and I need Jesus help because I just mess it up when I try to do it all by myself!


Sabrina L. Fox said...

Great post, Rachel. You are so deep, sister. I love it!