Following Jesus in a Self-Help World

May 17, 2019

 

This post has been on my heart for some time. To be honest, I’m still figuring out everything I want to say. This post is the beginning. There will be more. As I grow in my walk with Christ and as I continue to pursue my career as a life coach, I’ll keep learning and I’ll keep encountering new things to share. So, let me start by saying that I am first, and foremost, a Christian – a follower of Jesus. AND I am a life coach, so technically, I am in the self-help industry. Here we go…

Following Jesus in a Self-Help World

To begin, I’ll say this, I genuinely believe both of these things can work together. I believe you can follow Christ and pursue personal development. God gave people the ability to study our brains and learn how our thoughts work and He did that for our good. We can learn from people who are bettering themselves every single day. I have also found that every person I “follow” in the self-help world has mentioned, “God”, “the universe”, “a higher power” and has talked about the importance of believing in something beyond yourself.

The question is, how do we pursue God and not get caught up in self-help? Here’s my experience:

There is no amount of self-help books, podcasts, or “spiritual practices” that can ever compare to trusting in Jesus as my personal Savior. I can read everything, do all the courses/classes/workshops, practice the yoga, and work on my mind and body every day, but without a relationship with Jesus, fully trusting in Him, believing He died on the cross and was resurrected for my sake and giving Him my life, I am nothing. There will be no life after this one. It’s all pointless. Jesus is contentment, peace, fulfillment, and grace that I can’t get from personal development. AND He also tells us much of the same stuff…

  • Guard your hearts (Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23).
  • Protect your mind.
  • Surround yourself with like-minded people.
  • The importance of growth and continuing to do the work.
  • Have faith when things seem bleak (Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1).

These same ideas that personal development coaches and experts are teaching us, Jesus taught us way back when He walked the earth over 2,000 years ago. So, before we go bashing self-help, many of the concepts are the same.

The difference is the relationship with Jesus.

The faith in something beyond yourself. The peace that you have despite your circumstances knowing that God is with you through life. Knowing that He is there at the end of our earthly experience – an eternity in Heaven that we can’t even comprehend. THAT we cannot get from a self-help book. We’ll always come up short. We’ll never be completely satisfied without Jesus.

So, that’s where I’m starting with this conversation. There will be more. I want to talk about more ideas that I have and how this is playing out in my own life. If you have questions or want to talk more, please comment or send me an email at kristen@kristenelrod.com.

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