The self-help

As we begin 2020, I am again bombarded with tons of information concerning self-help. Books, blogs, YouTube videos, social media posts, self-help “gurus (more on that later), podcasts, and every mode of communication device out there. The truth is that self-help is a very popular concept at the end of each year, and then again at the beginning of a new year. With so many New Year’s resolutions flying around, there is a huge market to sell people the idea that they can help themselves. These self-help materials entice people to buy into the idea that with enough information, practice, concentration, and meditation…they will heal themselves. I recently spoke of the importance of healing; nevertheless, I do not encourage the concept of self-healing. Why? Because that would mean that I am encouraging people to walk down a very lonely road. It is that very loneliness that brings forth hurts to the surface that we should not manage by ourselves. Even God, our Creator, stated that it is simply not good for man to be alone.

Genesis 2:18 “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

From the very beginning, we have learned the importance of companionship. Yes, yes…we did see the fall of humanity when the companion came and listened to that crafty serpent. Nevertheless, we cannot attribute the fall to companionship but to a bad decision. We were never meant to be alone; therefore, why do we insist on helping ourselves from a place of solitude. Depression creeps in during those very quiet times when we are unable to let out the very thing that spoils our heart. It is in those moments of solitude that the same serpent crawls itself into our lives and whispers the lies that we have believed to reinforce our fall.

There is great power in letting our emotions flow without restraint. This is not to state that we are to lose all control. The word of God is very clear concerning self-control; however, God is also very clear about raw healing needed to move forward. King David, Naomi, and Moses were three excellent examples of people that suffered through depression and even suicidal thoughts. God never meant to hide from His creation the ugliness of feeling abandoned. Yet, God also demonstrated that sound relationships aided these individuals in achieving healing.

Naomi expressed her sorrow powerfully and without restraints when people recognized her in her old town of Bethlehem.

Ruth 1:20 “She said to them, ‘ Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.'”

David shows one of his lowest moments in Psalm 13 as he begins “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”

Moses was bold when he let God know that he felt abandoned in the very mission that God had entrusted with him. Numbers 11:11-12 “Moses said to the Lord, ‘Why have you dealt ill with your servant? And why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Did I conceive all this people? Did I give them birth, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing child,’ to the land that you swore to give their fathers?”

Then there is the concept of the “self help guru.” If it is “self help” then why is it being taught by someone other than ourselves? I believe that the reason is simply because we are not meant to do life alone. Naturally, we will crave learning from someone ELSE how to manage our own lives. Whether you believe in God or not, this in itself is proof that we have a common designer.

John 14:16 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.”

Be wise; seek Christ.

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