One of my favorite places to wile away literally hours – a good book store. When I drive past a Barnes & Nobles or a Books A Million, something inside me stirs. I even get that same feeling in the book section of an Ollie’s. Ollie’s slogan is “Good Stuff, Cheap,” and it is. Especially the books! While other people love navigating the aisles of kitchen gadgets, flipping through the room-sized carpets and rambling through the clothing section, you can find me in the book corner.
I found myself in a book store this weekend. Nirvana. My sweetie is the most patient of men, so I literally had as long as I wanted to bask in the smell of new editions. While the “Religion” section is my favorite (though I honestly dislike that name – Christianity is about Relationship more than Religion, but that’s another blog post perhaps), I also spend time in Magazines, Cook Books and Children’s Books. But this weekend, the Self-Help section caught my attention.
Self-Help. Just the name of the section is interesting. So, I walked the aisle reading some of the titles aloud. “The Power of Intention: Co-Create Your World.” “Real Magic: Creating Your Own Miracles.” “The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself From Chronic Unhappiness.” Interesting. Lofty Ideas. The last title I glanced was the most interesting: ‘Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work.” Now, I’ve not read any of these, but the only title I was inclined to agree with was the latter.
Working on yourself doesn’t work. That’s not what much of society, especially the “self-help” segment would have you believe. If you just focus, meditate, tap into your true inner self and dig deeper, you will be successful.
Let me suggest you look to the example of Joseph.
Genesis 39 (NIV) opens, “Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.” You know the story – betrayed by his brothers, stripped of his precious coat and sold into slavery. So he arrives in Egypt – alone, half-naked with only the clothes on his back.
Well, he had one more thing because Genesis 39:2 (NIV) says, “The Lord was with Joseph.” Continue reading this chapter, and I am confident you will agree with me. This was all that Joseph needed. In about five verses Joseph goes from arriving, alone and naked to running the house of Potiphar.
He must have read “How to Attract Wealth, Health, Love and Luck in 10 Easy Steps.” Or maybe it was “Winning Friends and Influencing People for Your Personal Wealth.” Probably not. Rather than meditating, chanting mantras or digging deeper, Joseph looked to God. He didn’t look within; he looked up. The Lord was with Joseph. That means that Joseph was also with the Lord.
And the best news this Monday morning? The same God that was with Joseph, is with you if you accept Him as your Lord. The promise He made to Joseph is the promise He makes to you. “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.” (Genesis 28:15 NIV)
He offers you what is needed, God-Help.