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Kerry Lytle

December 2, 2023

Psalm 54:4, English Standard Version

"Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life."

If you walk into a bookstore, you will see all kinds of books for all kinds of topics. You'll find tons of books that help you help yourself with life's problems. I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with reading self-help books. But if that’s where you leave it, you are only getting part of the way there. 


If you only rely on self-help books written by a man or woman, you most likely will still be struggling with the same insecurities and drama. And that’s the problem with self-help books. Self-help books don’t tell the whole story for believers.


Self-help without God is nothing. Without Jesus as our guide, self-help in the form of books, podcasts, courses, etc. leads to short term happiness without a reason, a passion without a purpose.


Yet, it’s God’s desire for us to grow beyond our current abilities, understanding, and wisdom.


The danger of relying only on self-help is that when we believe it all depends on us. We carry a load that is too heavy and not meant for us to carry.


Any ounce of self-help might give us a little bit of progress in life—which is great—but there are greater things available to us. Scripture says “we can do all things”; But it doesn’t end there.


God is our true help and the first One we should turn to when we have struggles or problems.


John 15:5, Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” That means only through God can we overcome obstacles and make a lasting impact on people. Acknowledging the source of that potential is the key to letting God work in and through us so that we can do more than what we dare ask or imagine.


The reason it’s so important to understand the source of our power—that it comes from God—is that potential is wasted when it’s put toward the wrong things.


Being able to accomplish anything I put my mind to is a nice idea. But what if everything I am striving for is ultimately of no value? Only God can guide me into doing tasks that will make a lasting impact.


Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) says, “He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Self-help books can’t tell me what God has prepared for me to do.


Self-help books can’t tell you how you fit into the bigger story God is telling. What’s your role in the story of humanity? How depressing it is if your life only touches itself and you only help yourself? But through God’s power and direction, we can do things that will have an effect throughout eternity. 


I think it’s okay for Christians to read self-help books. But if that’s all you are doing, you are missing out on something greater. Seek God for His direction and wisdom by praying and reading His Word.


Thank God for the strength He has given you and ask Him where He wants you to direct that strength.


God’s Word reveals His nature and character, and one important characteristic of God is His willingness and ability to help you right now! Let nothing stand between you and your Helper. Yet God—the Source of every solution—has not changed! The One who loves you with an everlasting love and who called you into His Kingdom stands ready to bless and help you more than you could imagine. God stands ready to help every Christian—including you and me!


No matter where we are in life, we should be faithful to give thanks to the Lord, because He is our Helper. If we are facing a need or a problem today, we can thank God that He delivers us out of trouble. If we are enjoying abundance today, let's remember that we had His help getting to that place in life. And let us hold in our hearts an attitude of deep appreciation and praise to God, who has blessed and helped us!

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