I heard a speaker say the 45 billion dollar self-help industry is crumbling. Why, I thought? There are so many good, helpful books out there.
In doing research I stumbled onto a blog about the benefits/dangers of self-help books. It was very interesting with many different points of view. Some of the people that commented believed self-help books were helpful. However some of the comments were from people who were extremely passionate in their belief that the Bible should be our only source for help and instruction. A few felt self-help books were too humanistic and not biblically sound. Some felt we should not focus on our “SELF” at all. Others felt self-help books were okay as long as you had a good foundation in the WORD so you could discern truth from falsehood.
I found this blog to be interesting because I am a self-proclaimed “Self-Help Book Junkie”. Growing up in an extremely dysfunctional family, I realized quickly that the only way I could ever hope for a healthy family of my own was to get different information.
At age 19 I became a Christian and began reading the Bible AND anything I could get my hands on to teach me how to be a better wife, a better mother and a better friend. Most of what I read was Christian-based and very helpful. I was diligent to implement what I read and learned. So I loved my self-help books. They, along with the Bible, gave me a bench mark of what a happy healthy home should look like.
However over the years I realized that even though I loved the Lord with all my heart, and could see how He had blessed me, I still had some areas in my life that I felt I could handle on my own. I believed I could read enough, learn enough, apply enough to heal myself; to protect myself. But what I discovered was . . . I AM NOT GOD. Wow. I realized that even if a self-help book is helpful, if I’m not connected and looking to the Vine as my source, then the only help it can offer . . . is temporary help. For true lasting healing and help, we must look to the source of life. I had to humble myself and ask for His help in navigating me through my healing journey instead of thinking I could do it on my own.
So my comment on that blog would be: The 45 billion dollar self-help industry is crumbling because much of the industry has taken God out of the healing/growing equation. And apart from God, there is no real help or healing! Don’t get me wrong, I believe God can use anything to teach us, to grow us and to heal us. Even self-help books. As long as we recognize the actual healing comes from HIM. Not from the books we read. Not from the teachers or preacher we listen to. Not from trying to do it in our own power. It comes from being tied into HIM.
John 15:1-8 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.“
In Joyful Surrender & Hanging on the Vine,