Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Half-Truths of Self Help

Periodically, I read through some of the articles on Christianity Today. Recently, I found this article on self help psychologies and it's failures. "The Half-Truths of Self-Help: 4 false assertions the "gurus" promote." This well written article was by Suzanna Kamphuis.

In it, she goes against the false claims and hopes that the self-help ideology promotes. The four lies are:
1 - You should put you first.
"Self-help gurus have it backwards: I don't learn to value myself by selfishly ignoring the value of others; it's in identifying their value that I begin to learn how tall I truly stand."
2 - You should set aside any draining or burdensome relationship.
"[Christ] didn't gather around himself a band of cheerleaders. Instead, he built radical relationships with Peter, a disloyal follower, Judas, a scheming betrayer, and Thomas, a doubting downer."
3 - You can fix yourself by yourself.
"The connection of relationships facilitates the tough, disciplined work of seeing truth, learning lessons, and living them out in everyday life."
4 - You are wholly good.
"Not only am I an eternal being made in God's image, I'm also a fallen creature, broken beyond my ability to understand or repair."

Near the end of the article, Suzanne writes, "In the end, self-help can't fix me, because self-help doesn't know me. God alone searches my heart and sees my full potential for good and evil. In my search for healing, this truth gives me a new frame of reference: Jesus. He, not my authentic self, knows the way and the truth, and only he can guide me to the life I desire."

I would greatly encourage you to take the time to read it.