My Grace-Full Life

7.16.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: The Illusion of Self-Help


PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• As much as I love to read, I’m not a fan of the self-help genre.
I have a few self-help books on my jam-packed bookcase.
They’re buried in there somewhere.
Since each shelf is double-stacked with books, I don’t really know what I have.
On the rare occasion when I do get a self-help book on purpose, I rarely read the whole book.
Or even crack the spine.
These books are like squatters in my bookcase.
They take up residence for a while before I evict them to the used book store and replace them with fiction or Christian growth books.
The thing about self-help is that more often than naught, it’s an illusion.
We are, after all, creatures of habit.
We CAN change.
But few people make permanently radical lifestyle changes on their own.
Though I’m not a self-help enthusiast, I often fall into the trap of self-reliance.
And that’s what self-help boils down to, right?
When people attempt to make changes in their life through their own self-reliant and independent efforts.
As I thought about this today, I went to 2 Corinthians 3:5 which says, “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God…” (ESV).
We also know the oft-quoted verse from Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (ESV).
So why do we look to help ourselves or try to rely on our own illusions?
Because here’s two myth busters for you
1) the old wives tale “God helps those who help themselves” isn’t in the Bible.
And 2) “God never gives us more than we can handle” isn’t in the Bible either.
In fact, the absolute opposite is true.
God WILL allow us to experience more than we can handle because He wants us to turn to Him and be completely dependent on Him.
God wants us to lean on Him so we can let Him help us through our valleys.
He wants us to be reliant on Him so that He can demonstrate that He is enough for us.
It’s an act of great love and a testament to God’s interest in our lives.
He didn’t create us to figure it out for ourselves.
He made us to worship Him.
And as He becomes our everything, we can praise Him for both the good and the bad because we learn first hand that He is in control and at work in our lives.
We understand our complete dependence on Him.
Today, as you pray, thank God for being all that we need.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to be reliant on God and to seek Him for all the help you need.

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