Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
It’s crazy how much information you can find about self-help. There are countless books, speakers, and conferences all promising to help us become a better us.
And much of the talk is centered around how we can help ourselves. That the ultimate answers are found in ourselves. If we can just dig deep enough inside of ourselves this solution will just come out.
We will become the person we’ve always wanted to become.
We will have the life or lifestyle that we have always dreamed of.
It all starts with self.
What’s kind of ironic and sort of funny in all this is that those who preach self-help are constantly trying to get us to purchase their help. If we want to better ourselves we truly can’t do it on our own we need their guidance.
And so we begin to dig into our minds. We dive deep into self-studies. We want to know who we are so we can then become who we want to be and so we take off on this journey of self-discovery.
But as Christians, we need to remember that self always leads to more self.
If you remember Jesus always teaches that what we needed was less of self. That we needed to be about others and to love God more deeply.
So what we need more than anything is not more self-help. What we need more than anything is God’s help.
This very thought is what embodies the gospel. That God came to us because we could not go to him. He rescued us because we could not rescue ourselves. God brought us Hope because without him we are hopeless.
It’s not in self that we find these things but in God.
Matthew 16:24-26 (NIV)
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
In the kingdom of Heaven everything gets flipped upside down.
- The Last is First.
- The Poor is Rich.
- The Weak is Strong.
- And to find your life you must lose it.
God promises that life is found in Him. But that pursuing your life is keeping you from finding that because in trying to gain the whole world, you are actually forgetting about your soul.
And self-help will not get you there. You need God’s help.