I’m surprised by the size of self-help sections in bookstores. Maybe I shouldn’t be. According to an article from The New Yorker called “Improving ourselves to death,” there’s a self-improvement industry that “takes in ten billion dollars a year.” Why? Because people everywhere—of all ethnicities, cultures, and religions—recognize a need for help.
It’s not a new concept. Consider the words of the psalmist who writes, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 121:1-2 ESV).
I deleted Instagram. One of the most popular social networks in the world. A photo sharing platform used by one billion people. And I’m no longer one of them.
Why? Not because it’s bad. I’m not discouraging people from using it. Instead, there’s something about Instagram that causes me to stumble. Let me explain.
I don’t know about you, but I enjoy looking at nice homes along the road. Beautiful brick patterns. Unique roof pitches. Fancy windows. It’s fun to admire such homes, but there’s something I never look at — the foundation.
Every beautiful home needs a solid foundation. But we never pay attention to foundations. Instead, we marvel at what meets the eye. We gasp in amazement at the brick walls, but we don’t even consider the foundation holding those walls up.
Our culture cares more about looks than legitimacy. This is most obvious in our perception of people, including ourselves. We often base those perceptions on appearance rather than foundation. As a result, we’re deceived into toxic relationships and find it difficult to live consistently with ourselves. We don’t know who we are.
As an avid coffee drinker, I know what makes a good cup of coffee. It all begins with a good brand of coffee grounds. I prefer McDonald’s. Then, there’s the coffee maker. The better the coffee grounds are filtered, the better the coffee tastes. But there’s one more requirement for a good cup of coffee. It’s the mug.
The taste of the content depends on the container.
My dad always drinks his coffee from a Styrofoam cup. I don’t. Why? Because I don’t like how it makes my coffee taste. I prefer traditional mugs. When I’m home, I usually drink from one of two different mugs. One is my Bible verse mug. The other is my Clearwater Beach mug. And honestly, I drink more coffee from my Yeti than either one of those.
People often ask me. I usually ride the bandwagon, replying with the classic response. “Good.”
I’m typically not as good as I pretend to be — well, actually, it depends on the definition of “good.” What does it mean to be “good?”
If being “good” means everything in my life is good, then I’m a liar. My life isn’t always easy. I struggle. I sin. I face difficulties, battles, trials, and temptations. But when someone asks me how I am, my natural instinct is to consider my circumstances.