The Gospel is the Only Thing that Can Change Us, Not Self-Help

I don’t know about you but I love books. Over the years I have amassed quite a collection. Not near as many as some of my friends, but I’d say it is a healthy collection.

As most book lovers do, I love bookstores. I can spend hours in a bookstore just looking. My wife used to come along, but it’s gotten to the point now that she refuses to go to a bookstore with me because she knows I will be in there forever.

One of the things I like to do when I am at the bookstore is peruse the self-help and spirituality sections. Not because I am interested in buying any of those books, but because I want to know what others are buying. What they believe will make difference in their lives.

In these sections you will find all kinds of books. Books that promise to help you:

  • Win Friends and Influence People
  • To become a Highly Effective Person
  • Stop Worrying and Start Living
  • Gain Happiness
  • To lead people
  • To fulfill your dreams in life

The list can go on and on.

While all these books promise to help you in these areas, I don’t believe they can ultimately drive the change they promise. Nor can they fix the mess this nation is in. That’s because these books focus on the self. They attempt to pull the best you out of you.

What is inherently wrong with that idea is that we are all broken people. Ever since Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the garden, we have experienced corruption. Because we are corrupted to our core, we cannot rise above in and of ourselves. We can’t uncorrupt ourselves no matter how many books we read, seminars we attend, or life coaches we hire. Self-help is a falsity.

If these books and the ideas behind them can’t change people and fix our nation, what can? The gospel — the good news that God sent a Messiah, who is Jesus. Jesus not only pays the penalty for our rebellion, but He also creates a new humanity that can experience freedom from corruption. Jesus saves us and changes us. He gives us hope.

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