I’ve heard people say that God is used as a crutch. He’s a coping mechanism. A way to deal with life.
I’m here to tell you God’s not a crutch. We were meant to live with Him in our lives. Instead, people often go without Him. And some of these people end up looking for what they’re missing in all the wrong places. They wind up depressed, on drugs, rifling through self-help books, taking medication to calm their nerves, becoming alcoholics, getting into the occult (which honestly has many a tie to psychiatric issues), or killing themselves because even when they reached the height of all they could be in this world, they were disappointed there was nowhere higher to go.
So if God’s not a crutch, then what is a cigarette, overeating, binge drinking, compulsive shopping, seeking counseling and all those things that DON’T contain God? They’re crutches. God is the only natural, non-crutch to enhance your life. Why? Because He was there before you were born. You were created for Him! Not the other way around. We didn’t create God for us, to explain our existence!
Many people live with anxiety and phobias. In 2 Timothy 1:7 Paul writes to Timothy “For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind”.
1 John: 4:18 says “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love”.
So God offers us freedom from fear and loves us. But unless we love Him back, we’ll never really know what that’s like.
Before I came back to God, I was dealing with a lot of emotions I wasn’t really used to. Intense frustration. Intense anger (I’m not an angry person by nature) and a bit of anxiety. I even tried meditating and breathing to try and let my brain stop talking so I could get some sleep. It might have helped with getting some sleep, but it didn’t take away the frustration, anger and anxiety, which was causing me to have ‘explosive’ outbursts. I was no longer me.
The moment I gave it all away to God and acknowledged He had bigger shoulders than me and that I could no longer deal with all the stress and frustration, the moment all that stress left me. It’s like I had all this weight on me and suddenly, like taking off a heavy camping pack, it was lifted. I cannot tell you how good that feels. A crutch can only do that if that crutch is mind-bending, or repetitive, and often results in some kind of regret, a trip you don’t come back from, or it becomes mundane and no longer works.
The closest one might come to a non-harmful crutch is with meditation. Meditation often focuses on breathing techniques; imagining yourself in a relaxing place etc. And prayer is kind of like that, but not really. There’s no need to focus on your breathing. You are focusing (meditating) on God, and on His word when you pray. You are not focusing on your breathing or you, really. And yet, it’s also therapeutic. I’m very doubtful that meditation can take away your burden of fear and stress without having to forgo thinking about the thing that upsets you. Meditation can also open yourself up to allowing other things to come in.
The downside with meditation without God is that you’re really just serving yourself. So, at the end of the day, you’ll only be fooling yourself into being satiated.
If you’re after true self-help, you honestly have to look outside yourself and look to God. He’s all the self-help you’ll ever need. And He’s not a crutch – He’s simply a major and crucial part in your entire existence you may be missing, if you don’t Have him front and center in your life.
Did you know that the global self-help industry (personal improvement industry) was worth about $38b (USD) in 2019? Isn’t that an insane amount of money to be making for telling people how to help themselves? Well, researchers expect the global industry to grow to around $55b by 2027 *And it’s perfectly okay to say you’re reading self-help books. It’s chic. It’s cool. It says you’re enlightened. At a minimum of $20 for a self-help book, perhaps $150 for a single class, perhaps rather than enlightened, you’ve been had?
For self-help books on God, read the Bible. Yes, just the one book. You don’t need more. Some people have written devotionals to help people who are struggling with various concerns, because God doesn’t make your life instantly wonderful – you’re still a work in a progress, but the Bible and prayer is your ultimate self-help.
I’m giving you the honest answer, for free. Others would have you waste $20, $50, $150, $1000 for some special program. And here’s the kicker. you don’t even have to buy a Bible if you own a smart phone, tablet or computer. The Bible App is free. (See side bar for link). But if you do want one, and don’t think you can afford one and you happen to be in the US, see this link for more info: https://biblesforamerica.org/
* Grandview Research Personal Development Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Instrument (Books, e-Platforms, Personal Coaching/Training, Workshops), By Focus Area, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 – 2027 (https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/personal-development-market?utm_source=prnewswire&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ict_27-july-20&utm_term=personal-development-market&utm_content=rd1 , accessed 24 February 2022). Pub: Jul 2021. Electronic publication.