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The other day, I put this post on Facebook.
I am reading in my study about studying that we are all read these instead of the Bible which should be our go-to source. I even googled self help books and one of the links that came up was from ABC news. It was titled, “Want to Get Rich? Write a Self-help Book.” That title really says quite a lot.
So I dug further. Self help books bring in $775M with the audio versions bringing in another $455M. And the sales for all of these catagories are expected to rise by 5.5% annually. Really, people?
And that’s just on books! Seriously? Seminars and conferences bring in another $400-500M. This has seen a small downturn because of inflated travel costs. That’s a downturn? Seriously, these stats are totally shocking me. And something new that’s been added is coaching. Life coaching will run you a pretty penny. The most recent stats I could find are way back in 2012 when coaches in just North America brought in a whopping $707M.
And do you know who their target market has become? WOMEN! That’s us, girls!
My “friend” on LinkedIn did a survey of people and asked what book they had read that mostly changed their lives. This particular audience was secular. Out of 86 responses, By far the most mentioned book was the Bible coming in at 31 times. That’s in a secular forum, people. Other religious manuals were the Qua-ran at 3 mentions, and The Book of Mormon once. From there it varied between things like “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, to “A Tale of Two Cities” by Dickens to “Rhinoceros Success” by Scott Alexander.
From there, I decided to poll my own Facebook page. Out of 28 responses, Christians this time, only six voiced the Bible as a response at all. Of course the others were all great book of the faith with a couple of exceptions.
Why am I telling you all of these boring stats? It surely must be clear by now. Most people who call themselves Christian are looking to other people’s books for answers. Be it self-help or otherwise, we aren’t studying to show ourselves approved.
And when I see all the money simply from the self-help industry, I can’t help but think we surely aren’t being good stewards of God’s money, either. Don’t get me wrong, trying to better yourself is a great thing. And I’ve got a couple of those books on my shelves myself. But if I add up the top numbers, I get a whopping $2,437,000,000. That’s BILLION, folks! Just think how far the Kingdom of God could be advanced with that amount of money.
But really, can’t you just see it? If we all looked to the Bible for self-esteem tips, or diet tips. If the peace we so are longing for in this life is missing, isn’t the answer found in the Bible itself? And comfort – God is the God of ALL comfort and He comforts us so we can comfort others. I read that in the Bible.
So I have come to the conclusion that we really need to learn how to study. It’s much easier to have someone else do all the work, but it hits your head AND your heart when God is the one revealing things to you. I want that for myself. And I want it for you, too. So in the coming parts of this series, we will look at things that stop us from believing what we read, things that will aide us in our studies, and simply how to study it.
Today I read and this is what I learned…
Think I’ll just leave on that note.
Have a marvelous day!