Self Help For People Who Aren’t Jesus
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
Painless growth and ultimate victory! That’s what the self-help empire promotes. Sure, we can gain wisdom from people who have struggled before us, but we often assume that, if we read the right things at the same rate at which we increase our productivity, we can perfect ourselves. Next comes the inevitable burnout.
But one-self-help truth that’s actually helpful is this: Learning that you can’t do it all is key to focusing on what you can do. A friend told Leslie that she was like a female Jesus, because she added every worry she came across, whether hers or that of others, to her own shoulders. She was tempted to be flattered, until she realized that Jesus never intended that she carry every burden alone or in her own strength. In reality, she was of little help to anyone, weighed down by every imaginable sorrow.
Yes, we want to grow into the best versions of ourselves that God created us to be, but our aim isn’t to do the job of self-renovation that only God can do. The follower of Jesus already has the greatest help there is–the example of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Slow down and take your time. God has gifted you with talents to help yourself, your family, your workplace, the community, and those God places on your heart. Cultivate those talents with the aim of serving specific needs with God’s help, but not serving every need in your own power.
Resource reading: Psalm 46:1-11