No Help At All

No Help At All

01 March 2010

Today’s Reading: Numbers 28-29; Mark 8


34 Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. 35 Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. 36 What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? 37 What could you ever trade your soul for? (Mark 8:34-37 MSG)

Self-help is the answer for everything in our world. TV talk shows, best-selling books, seminars, infomercials all tell us there is a simple plan – three steps or five steps or seven steps – to losing weight or a better marriage or getting rich or reaching our goals or becoming the person we always wanted to be.

Jesus said that self-help is no help at all. Jesus said that the way he is heading is not self-help but self-sacrifice and if we want to go with him, we’ve got to follow his lead. It’s not about getting more, it’s about giving more. It’s not about being successful, it’s about serving others. It’s not about accomplishments, it’s about letting go. It’s not about having all the answers, it’s about learning to ask the right questions. It’s not about the way up, it’s about the way down!

Not popular? Won’t sell? Never make it to the Oprah Winfrey show? Sorry, that’s the way it is. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way – the Jesus way.

My heart hears these simple words from the heart of Jesus and says, “Yes! I know that’s the way, the truth, and the life!” My head hears the same words of Jesus and says, “How in this world does that work? How do I really and truly let go and let Jesus lead?” That’s my quest, friends. I hope it resonates with your true heart.


Father, The influences of self-help and self-will and selfishness are so strong around me. And those influences are inside me as well. Each day there are a hundred voices telling me I should get all I can and only your quiet whisper telling me to let it go. Help me to yield my self to the Jesus way and not the selfish way. I want to want what you want. Where you lead me, I will follow. Amen.

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