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the quintessential self-help flop

Lord, make me enjoy being a human being instead of always trying to be a human doing…   -a fellow blogger on her blog

Self-help doesn’t work.

I tried it. 

I am the quintessential self-help flop.

If anyone ever went on a mission to revamp themselves, it was me.  But the more I retooled myself, the more irratated and defeated I became.  When I got more proficient, I only became more obsessive.  When I made more money, I only became more stingy.  When I got more pragmatic, I only became more frivolous.  When I became more independent, I only became more narcissistic.  When I got more confident, I only became more arrogant.  When I cleaned up my act, my deviousness took on hidden new forms.  And when I made myself more pleasant, my disdain for others only grew. 

Basically, after trying so darn hard to be a better person I only got worse.  

Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?    -Matthew 16:24-26, The Message Bible (Italics mine)

Self-help as far as I can tell (and like I said, I tried it), is comprised of disingenuous intentions to make ones self better for the mere accomplishments sake.  As a Christian, my motives for growth or improvement or necessary change (and not just for the sake of change)—should be for an altogether different purpose than patting myself on the back for being such a resourceful and strong individual.  God’s pleasure and his glory need be my passion.

The living of a life after Christ takes a higher power if you will, a power above our own self-help initiatives if we are to rise and meet any worthwhile aspirations. 


See also: Psalm 108:11-13

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