Q. Recently I asked for prayers for my daughter and myself as we are both due to have surgery in a few months. I did so on a message board that I get on when talking to my friends. Not long after I wrote the prayer request one of my friends messaged me back and told me they would keep us in their prayers and told me to check out (a currently popular self help book). Have you seen the movie or read the book? What is your opinion and how should I address this person?
A. I haven’t read this book and don’t intend to. I believe it to be another in the long list of books that have come out periodically extolling the power of self determination.
Although all these self-help theories are actually derived from the Bible, they’ve been re-packaged to leave God out of the equation substituting “self” instead. Reading them makes people feel good because it gives us hope and helps us believe that we can control events in our lives. But in the end self-help becomes self-defeat of the most serious kind because in effect it convinces us that we’re our own god, and that we don’t need a Savior.
Tell your friend that the greatest self help book ever written has always been and continues to be the Bible.
The emphasis on joy and gratitude was contained there long before it was mentioned anywhere else (Phil 4:4-7) as was positive thinking (Phil 4:8) visualization (2 Cor. 4:18) and a host of other so-called New Age ideas.
But with the Bible you get a huge bonus, the Holy Spirit, whose guidance will not only bring you peace and joy in this life, but more importantly the one to come.
In short why study a poor imitation when you can learn from the original?