When Self-Help is No Help at All

What an interesting week.  It’s so motivating for me to speak with people who are serious about their personal growth and desire to help others. I hear stories of breaking through… and where they got stalled.

I had three conversations that highlight why trying to make significant changes all on our own can be so darn hard.

The first person said, for the most part, “I have good intentions, but I’m not living intentionally.”  Other stuff just gets in the way, and, when all is said and done, more is often said than done.

The second person said they feel like they are living a “Groundhog Day” life.  (“Groundhog Day” is a movie about a guy who finds himself living the same day over and over --- and it happens to be February 2; a.k.a., Groundhog Day.) In essence, my friend is saying that time keeps slipping away and when he looks back on the recent past, nothing is really changing in his life.   

The third person had a slightly different situation going on:  She felt there was something that she  needed to be doing to move toward her goals.  I agreed. However, as we talked about all the different things going on in her life, it became clear that there was one big situation that was going to resolve itself in 2 weeks that made it clear that doing anything now made no sense at all.  The best course of action was “Wait and see… and then act.”

Each one of them realized that having a person(s) helping them sort through their life decisions was critical.

The big insight for me is that while “thinking your confusion out loud with others” is helpful, it has to be preceded by the humility to admit we need help.  In other words, the barrier to our growth is not always the lack of someone to talk to.  It’s the abundance of pride that prevents us from doing so.

Here’s something to think about for the rest of day: Confessing our brokenness to God is the key to eternal salvation.  Confessing our need for help to people can be our key to temporal salvation.

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.”  Ecclesiastes 4:9 NLT