Monday, August 8, 2011

God Says, "When YOU Fall, Pick Yourself Up," and other Self Help Concepts

This is another adventure.  I start with the assumption that God is NOT a self help guru as many day modern speakers are.  I am fairly sure of my grounding on this concept, though the surety is mostly if not entirely anecdotal.  So, even though I have an opinion, I am going to avoid any stories until the end, if they still seem appropriate.

I will instead us a form of research I learned in elementary school. I call it T Problem Solving, because I use a grid in the shape of T to help me organize my thoughts, but evidently it is commonly called "Pros and Cons Decisions Making Method."

This is how I learned it.  If you have a problem you want solved, you:

1) State it as clearly as you can,

under the assumption that if you "Know" and can "Name" the problem then the problem is more than half solved.

Once you have named the problem, you

2) "Brainstorm" as many solutions or examples that you can that address the problem, 

and you do not do this with any prejudice involved, and you do it as quickly as you can.  You can and should involve others as well.  Make NO judgement as you accumulate ideas, solutions, illustrations or examples.  Just record them. You really do not care if the ideas are pros or cons.  Just record them.

Finally, once you have the data collected,


3) You organize it with pros on one side and cons on the other.

4) Than you decide if you have enough data to draw a conclusion.


So, without knowing where this will end, I will apply the T-method to the Problem of

1)  "Is God a Self Help Advocate," or, "Are Self Help Sayings Biblical."

2) A stream of conscientiousness listing of 10 Self Help phrase I can, and my friends can, think of follows, with who they are accredited to, though I can not vouch for the accuracy of the accreditation or the accuracy of the quote.  These are things we have been taught or heard in or lives, and the are the first 10 that come to mind. (The one in red is the one this article deals with.  The others will follow later.)

  • “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.” -- William Arthur Ward
  • If it is going to be, it is up to me, -- Robert Schuller
  •  Be like a NIKE and just do it -- Common Saying 
  •  "Be at war with your vices; at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man." -- Benjamin Franklin 
  •  When you fall, pick yourself up. -- Common Saying 
  • "Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot." -- Jim Rohn
  • Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission. --Eleanor Roosevelt
  • "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Happiness, wealth, and success are by-products of goal setting, they cannot be the goal themselves. " - Denis Waitley
  • "You have within you right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you." -- Brian Tracy

3) Pros and Cons

(check out the shadow man behind the door)

a) “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.” 

From a purely human point of view, can you remember the sliding doors in Star Trek - the original?  When they made that show, they had people opening and closing the doors (and you can see one of them opening the door in the above clip), since the technology was not even conceived of yet.  It was just imagined.  Now, every time you enter a super market, the doors open.  That, I believe, is the moral of this quote.  First you conceive it, then you become it. Star Trek did it over and over again, as is common for science fiction.  

Heady stuff, but is it Biblical? 

The first and most powerful attachment for this saying might be Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no vision, the people perish:" Q.E.D. (proved)

But wait a second.  Firstly, what does the Bible mean by "vision?" According to Strong's Hebrew Dictionary, the word means "specifically a vision from God."  So we are not talking about our own vision here.  Say, I Dream or See that we can be a 2,000,000 person business in 1 year.  Since I can dream it, we can do it.  Nope.  

If God puts the vision in your head, you can do it.

But there is more. The verse show above is only 1/2 of the verse in the bible. It is bad to quote out of context to prove a point. It is worse to leave part of the word off, so that the meaning skews to your own end. The full verse is: "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." We are talking about following God's vision. In our dreams, as in sent by God, and in the Bible, as in sent by God. Not as in OUR OWN GOALS.

Think about that for a moment.  God is wearing a business suit on a stage, and you, plus 10,000 other people, are at the Boston TD Garden after having paid $1,000 to listen to him speak. He says, "I got this neat trick.  If you don't like the plan I have for you, just sit down, write you goals down, and concentrate on the picture your goals make in your head.  Once you see the picture, you invoke my authority, and I have to do your bidding.  (See God is a Genie if that does not freak you out a bit.)

Pros or Cons Time for Quote 1

Is the first quote, about dreaming, biblical?

Pro's Side: Dreaming, if the source of the Dream is God, can cause you to "become" the dream.

Con Side: Most people who hear and pass this quote along, mean self created vision, not vision from God.

Photo Credit:
Decide:  Looks like it can be considered Biblical, if you are living in the word.  If you are living in the world, it was based on Biblical Truth, but it was twisted to worldly truth.  Since there are only 2 sided, and the twisted one does not come from God, that only leaves the smoking section.  Smoking is bad.

Conclusion for “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.” -- William Arthur Ward  - If you pay attention to the source, the bible or law, just as the verse says, you will have the wisdom of the Lord.  If not, you have the wrong type of fire.

So Yes, God is a Self Help Guru, if you mean He helps You see his plan by telling you what to do.  You do it, and help him and yourself.

Stay tuned for part 2 ... 

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