- Jesus Is Better
- No comments
In 1859, Samuel Smiles coined the term “self-help” in his book, also by the same name. This book praised the idea of a self-made man and pushed the motto “Heaven helps those that help themselves.” The book was a huge success and the idea of self-help was here to stay. In fact, in 2016 the “Self Help” industry was worth $10 billion dollars.
The Bible challenges us that whatever we do, we need to do it with all our might. Yet, the pit of performance-based value and worth is a dangerous precedent. When thinking of God, He doesn’t value us based on what we produce. We have worth to Him because He made us. The key to walking closer to God is not to try harder to be better and sinless. It’s realizing and relying on the fact that Christ was better and sinless. We don’t need self-help, we need surrender. We need Christ’s help.
Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
This idea of self-help has even seeped into the church. See, a church that “teaches the Bible” does not always mean it teaches the gospel. Many mistake the gospel with moralism—being a good person, reading your Bible, or opening the door for the elderly to earn God’s favor. But the gospel is altogether different.
According to sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton, “many Americans believe in something dubbed ‘Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.’ Within this MTD ‘religion,’ God is a cosmic therapist and divine butler, ready to help out when needed. He exists but isn’t actually a part of our lives. We’re supposed to be ‘good people,’ but each person must find what’s right for him or her. Good people will go to heaven, and we shouldn’t be stifled by organized religion where somebody tells us what we should do or what we should believe.
“They see their Christian faith as just one aspect of their lives like anything else—be it sports, friends, school, or family. Its preacher is American entitlement and its sermon is a me-centered message about a distant, therapeutic god who wants us to be good and happy.”
Brian Cosby says, “Think about those three words, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. They run counter to the gospel of Jesus Christ in every way. We are not saved by earning our way up the good-works ladder, nor is God the divine genie dispensing wishes at command. He’s not a distant ‘clock-maker,’ sitting back to watch it all play out, but the personal Immanuel who became man to seek and save his bride. The gospel says that Jesus has accomplished for you—through his life, death, and resurrection—everything that God has required of you; thereby, securing eternal life for all God’s people, and received by faith alone.”
Self-Help Theology is not what we need. Christ is not an attachment to make your life better. Jesus is the answer. He deserves all of you. Ultimately only Jesus can quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger. Trying harder is not the key, relying more on Christ is the only true hope because Jesus is better.