There aren’t too many brick-and-mortar bookstores left these days. (Makes an old-fashioned, flip-through-the-pages girl like me rather sad. 🙁)
But, on those occasions I happen upon one still, what is one of the biggest sections I find?
Usually right next to the Christian section, no less-when they’ve got one.
Kind of speaks to society in general:
Don’t like the idea of God’s help? Well, then, here you go, help yourself!
And there’s a veritable sea of publications with slick covers, beckoning to the struggling with empty promises for a new life by Friday.
Self-improvement. Self-reliance. Self-empowerment.
Pick one up and a few may even allude to some sort of faith at times, though it seems more of a cursory nod than the foundation of their philosophy.
So many authors, so many books, so many ways…
So much foolishness!
For, every one of those books lay claim to the secrets of “successful living”.
And so few ever acknowledge the God who holds the real secret!
For successful living has not an iota to do with what house you live in, what’s in your wallet, or your driveway.
Nor with the length or contents of your resume, your online followers, or cookie-cutter, Instagram-ready family.
For all those things are just that.
Some of them quite nice.
Family, obviously, is extremely important and not just a thing! As a wife and mom of four, I can definitely attest to that!
But, the idol of the “perfect” life with them or in general?
Well, that is just that-an idol.
And idols are dangerous, false gods in the way of our loyalty to the One True God.
As is trying to self-help ourselves.
For there is no helping ourselves…
I know. I have tried so many times-and have the trail of failed attempts behind me to prove it! 😉
Having been through a few rough patches in life often leads to grasping at band-aids of all sorts.
But, nothing ever stuck till I recognized that the only real help comes when we bow every bit of our self-serving ways to our desperate need for a Savior.
It’s not that all advice out there is bad.
Scripture, naturally, is full of wisdom for the ages. When I need help, I prayerfully reach for the Bible and find God answers quite well!
It’s a matter of being open to listen, of course. 🙂
There are also many wonderful writers and teachers versed in the Word and a lifetime of walking with the Lord who have a lot of insights to share.
I am just especially cautious with whose work I read and listen to these days.
Anything that does not place God and His Word first, last, and in between is not something I linger on anymore.
It isn’t worth it.
So… suffice to say, where in those few bookstores left (or that huge online landscape of offerings), the self-help section is wide, would that we choose the narrow aisle of biblical truth:
Self-help never helped anyone.
We need His help for now and all time to see any real change.
Blessings and prayers, friends. May we ever be in pursuit of the help only the Lord can provide.