September 23, 2009

"Self Help"

Our culture provides us with so many ways of dealing with stuff before we end up leaning on God. It's as if society wants to keep us from realizing our desperate need for God and make fools of us by tricking us into thinking that we can somehow take care of things on our own.

Take the whole concept of "self help" for example. I mean, if you really think about it, it doesn't even make sense. The idea that we can somehow help ourselves get out of the mess that we more than likely created in the first place but didn't help ourselves get out of before we realized we could "self help" ourselves out of is absurd.

Even when we look at the two words separately...

Self - What would ever make us think that we would have the ability to get ourselves out of certain situations, habits, patterns, etc.? We've already seen what happens when it depends on us, we end up in some sort of messy situation, habit, pattern, etc. When left to our own devices, we're only going to experience despair, frustration and sorrow.

Help - Isn't the very notion of 'help' getting assistance from somewhere or someone else other than ourselves? Otherwise we wouldn't need 'help' in the first place. If we truly think we can help ourselves than we're only going to experience disappointment, confusion and pain.

I don't think it's until we realize that we can't make it on our own, that the only thing we really have to fall back on is the strength and grace that God provides, that we'll begin to experience the kind of help that will make any sort of difference in our lives.


Anonymous said...

Found my head nodding while reading your post. As a licensed counselor there is a strong misnomer in "self-help." I think it would go even further as people who are not qualified to give this advice standing behind pulpits in our churches and share a bad full of easy answers instead of the Gospel message.

Matt Lipan said...

lunchboxsw: thanks for the read and comment.

isn't it interesting how much trouble we can get into or cause when we stray too far from the Gospel message.

i bet from a counseling perspective the whole "self help" thing drives you crazy. i could see how it might even cause more issues for people as they try to help themselves.