In this post I want to talk about the difference between Personal Growth and Self Help.
For the Christian, personal growth means growing in dependence upon Christ. Literally, as we develop in Christ our faith grows which mean we believe the Word of God more and, in turn, rely in our own strength less. That does not mean that we don’t take the necessary steps to improve. The responsibility to enhance skills, maintain balance, cultivate relationships, manage time & stress, and improve our character still belongs with us. Be we rest in assurance that the sovereign God has our back.
Self Help is just the opposite. The essence of self help is developing personally so that you can be a better you. Sounds great right? Wrong! It is not the end product of being a better person that is the issue, it is the source of being a better person.
The source of Self Help is self! It looks to draw on its own strength in order to change and find fulfillment in life. The danger with self help is self becomes its own God. Its decisions becomes based upon principles that it has established as being right or important.
The hidden influence behind self help is Humanism. The Humanistic philosophy is that before you are a gender, an ethic group, a religion, or anything else, you are a human. In other words, man is first therefore man is his own god. Humanism endorses that every man has the power within himself to produce change and dictate his own destiny. While that philosophy is appealing, what they don’t tell you that your destiny is eternal not temporal and what you do now determines your eternal destination.
The Word tells us that God will not share His glory with flesh. (1 Corinthians 1:29-31) It is God that is the source of our living an being. When we have the audacity to think that we are the source of our own power it flies in the face of the God of the universe. It is as silly as the clay telling the Potter I will create myself.
It is inevitable that your personal growth journey will take you across the path of humanistic philosophies, many of which will have principles rooted in the Bible. The key to maintaining strong Christian convictions is found in the Word. Here are a few ideas that will help.
- Jesus Is Lord and there is no other.
The Word of God is absolute and the mandates contained in the scriptures are not suggestions. We are to pattern our lives according to the biblical design. What God calls righteous is righteous and what He calls sin is sin no matter how popular it has become.
- The Bible is our filter of knowledge.
You will come across a vast array of knowledge in the world of personal development. Concepts such as the law of attraction, Chakra energy sources, meditation, and so on…. Some are biblical, some are amoral, some are gateways to the demonic. The Bible is your first litmus test. If any teachings that you come across does not line up with the Word of God then you should refute it.
- The Holy Spirit is our Teacher.
Personal development for the Christian begins with developing a relationship with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Ultimately it is the Holy Spirits job to help you develop. He may do that by speaking to you as you meditate or He may lead you to a book, website, or person. He will also let us know what we should not engage. Our job is to cultivate our relationship with Him and He will direct our paths.