The market is flooded with “self help” books, podcasts, programs, seminars, you name it. These things are as old as the hills. The reality is, if we could help ourselves to the place that we think we desire to be, we would have done it a long time ago. Hello…..
Secondly, we are not built to help ourselves, we are designed to help each other. Community. Community is the place where healing takes place. Author Jean Vanier puts it this way:
“…Individualistic material progress and the desire to gain prestige by coming out on top have taken over from the sense of fellowship, compassion and community. Now people live more or less on their own in a small house, jealously guarding their goods and planning to acquire more, with a notice on the gate that says, ‘Beware of the Dog.”
― Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
Matthew 16:25-26 The Message (MSG)
” 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?”
If you are trying to “improve”, re-think your approach. You can learn temperament, take your thoughts captive, do cognitive therapy, all kinds of things. But if you are disconnected, you will find it difficult to get where you want to go.
Because everything you are learning is designed to be lived out with other people. It’s possible to keep learning about yourself, and never really grow. And that’s the point… “self-improvement”, or growth and maturing. Which will you choose?