Did you know that the self help or self improvement industry is calculated at $11 billion a year?
This industry focuses on providing materials that will assist consumers on improving specific areas of their lives. If you need advice on money, loving people, building self-esteem or how to become smarter, you will find a book, video or audio on it.
It is truly easy to fall into the trap of purchasing these self help materials and relying solely on its advice. I am not saying that it is wrong to purchase or read them. But as people of God we are called to not only read the guide book given to us but to also trust in God, our sole provider for all things.
How many of us look to the bible to answer many of the issues or concerns that are bothering us?
The bible is an awesome book and our guide for all things! “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
In my research I noted the top 10 self help themes based on popularity. The bible addresses every single one of them. Let’s journey together:
Making more money/ financial management
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
Other scriptures: Malachi 3:10; Luke 6:38; Proverbs 3:9; Acts 20:35; Proverbs 21:20; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Proverbs 22:7; Hebrews 13:5; 1 Timothy 6:10; Philippians 4:6,12
Having a happier life
“A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 2:24-26
Other scriptures: Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Peter 3:8-12; James 1:25; Ecclesiastes 3:12; Psalm 28:7; Nehemiah 8:10; Romans 12:15; Psalm 92:4; Proverbs 16:20; John 10:10
Winning friends and influencing people
“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26
Other scriptures: Matthew 7:12; Proverbs 18:24; Matthew 5:14-16; Proverbs 13:20; Proverbs 22:24-25; 1 Samuel 20; Proverbs 1:10-19; Proverbs 4:14-17; Ecclesiastes 4:12; John 15:13
Love and attraction
“Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38
Other scriptures: 1 Corinthians 13:4-5, 13; Philippians 2:1-4; Ephesians 5:25, 28; Luke 6:27-28; 1 John 3:18; 1 John 5:2-3; John 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; Proverbs 5:18-19; Song of Songs 1:2
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Other scriptures: Colossians 3:17, 23-24; 2 Timothy 3:15; 2 Peter 1:5-8; Genesis 1:28; Matthew 25:24; Ephesians 5:15-17; Psalm 90:12; Matthew 5:16; Ephesians 2:10; Proverbs 6:6-8
Adapting to change
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
Other scriptures: Hebrews 13:8; Psalm 32:8; Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 3:5-6; Deuteronomy 31:8; Joshua 1:9; Philippians 4:6-7; Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; 1 John 4:4; Daniel 2:20-21
Positive thinking/ self esteem
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Other scriptures: Genesis 1:27; Psalm 139:13-14; Romans 15:4; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Philippians 4:8; Hebrews 13:5; Romans 8:28; Philippians 4:13; Romans 12:12
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
Other scriptures: Romans 15:13; Job 8:21; Proverbs 17:22; Philippians 4:6; Psalm 41:3; Isaiah 53:4-5; 2 Corinthians 12:7-9; John 9:1-3; Deuteronomy 28:2-8; 2 Corinthians 5:7
“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:39
Other scriptures: Mark 12:30; 1 John 4:20; Romans 12:14-21; Galatians 5:14, 26; 2 Peter 1:7; Hebrews 10:24; Romans 8:16-17, 35, 37-39; John 13:34-35; Matthew 10:37; Matthew 5:14-16
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Other scriptures: 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Matthew 7:15-19; Proverbs 1:1-33; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Romans 3:23-24; Romans 12:3-8; 2 Corinthians 4:18; Romans 15:2; Ephesians 3:20; Isaiah 40:29-31
Prayer: Lord, forgive us when we look to other worldly things for guidance instead of choosing your God breathed scripture. Help us to seek you first in all things and trust that you, O Lord, who knows all and provides for us abundantly, will take care of all of our needs. Amen.