You can't save yourself. You can put a band-aide on it; you can mask the symptoms, but you cannot remove the disease. The self help industry is a billion dollar lie industry. They paint a world that people can never achieve. They can wall paper and even apply a bit of paint but the rotten structure underneath is still there. We need someone of greater authority than ourselves to take away the disease, to rebuild our structure. This person is Jesus.
Millions of people on this planet have discovered this truth but not everyone lives it. You may not even be living it. We accept the gift of Jesus and he does remove the disease and rebuild the structure but we live as if we are still the ones who have to find the solution. There is no more disease but we are still applying band-aides. Apostle Paul asks the questions:
Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? (Colossians 2:20-21)
We need to take a good long look at our attitude toward certain things we do and why. Jesus saved us, end of story. There is nothing we do that can make us more saved. We do not read our Bible to be saved but to grow in knowledge of God. We do not pray to be saved but to participate in God's work. We do not worship to be saved but to glorify God in all his works. We do not serve to be saved but to obey what we have been commanded. We do not sacrifice to be saved but to participate in the suffering of Christ.
The basic principles of this world no longer apply to us. We do not have to do what everyone around us is doing because we answer to a higher authority. We don't belong here any more but are citizens of God's Kingdom. Our values, priorities, perspective and way of thinking no longer match the world's. The Word tells us all the "do's" and "dont's" of this world are fading away, all the trappings of religion are falling away:
These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. (Colossians 2:22)
The self-help style of religion, earning our salvation, has nothing to do with us; because of Jesus we aren't even on the map with such things:
Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. (Colossians 2:23)
Nothing is going to get rid of the disease of our human nature except for Jesus. He is the only one with the power and authority. A blind man cannot help himself see; neither can another blind man help him see. Nothing we do and nothing anyone else does for us can save us. We need to pay attention to this because sometimes the attitude can creep back in without us knowing. A friend reminded me of what Charles Spurgeon once said. I will paraphrase: We grow in grace but we will never be more saved than the first day we accepted Jesus Christ. Remember, there is nothing you do that saves yourself.