Is Christian Self Improvement Wrong or Wise?
by Filoiann Wiedenhoff

I can personally testify that upon hearing the word "Self Help" as a Christian I used to cringe. Not because I don't think people should help themselves but because I grew up as an old school Christian that did not believe self help led to any real spiritual change.

Let me explain. I believed that by helping one 's self we are encouraging self sufficiency and those that rely on self do not usually rely on God and therefore it creates a sufficiency apart from God rather than with God.

As a born again believer we are taught to be totally dependant upon Christ just as Christ was totally dependant on the Father. Jesus even speaks it in one of His prayers that He will do nothing apart from His Father's will.

The question then becomes where does Christian self help fit into this? It fits in everywhere into everything. King Solomon wrote Proverbs with one thing in mind, and that was to encourage people to be wise. I loved that he encouraged people to seek out wisdom as a hidden treasure, gold or silver and to cherish it as a good woman.

Although you might say that King Solomon fell short of that wisdom because he did not follow his own advice it doesn't make His words of wisdom any less wise. In fact it makes it priceless because God still allowed his words of wisdom to be in the bible for us to read.

Let's get back to the Christian Self Help topic at hand. The question is it wrong or wise? The key to good Christian Self Help is where it leads you to. If the Christian Self Help advice you are given leads you to be more independent from Christ than dependant on Christ than the Self Help is either deceiving or you have taken the good advice and gave your self credit for applying it. It can happen to the best of us.

We can do all the right things, biblical, righteous and all of a sudden we are taking it to ourselves as though we are all that instead of looking to God who gave us salvation and Christ living in us who enables us to live the abundant life.

So for the record seeking Christian Self Help is wise as long as it leads you to Christ or brings you closer to God. If the self help literature leads you away it is either wrong or you have to stop for a moment and examine your own heart to find out if you are taking it to yourself rather than God.

My opinion doesn't amount to a hill of beans but I wanted to write about this anyways to provoke thought and encourage you to seek out wisdom. Wisdom that will draw you closer to God, lead you to real godly change and make you love God more each day and you will be blessed!

Check out my website and find out how to deal with real life issues practically and biblically.

Filoiann M. Wiedenhoff is a pastor's wife,work at home mom, Womans Biblical Counselor, Bible Teacher and Writer.   View her website for more articles

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