But somehow I want to convey something about all of those four things listed.
First of all, I just want to say out loud, that I love success, and I am determined and have been for many years to be increasingly successful. What I learn today is the foundation upon which I will build my tomorrow's school of thought.
But that being said..... in my many years of studying success "gurus", success "strategists", and after having read a boat load of their books, I have come to a few firm convictions.
First of all, we all have to have the courage to throw out the teachings of folks which are simply promoting the opposite of what we value most. For example, when I was given the recordings of the teachings called "The Secret".... I listened patiently for a while and appreciated some of the teaching. But then the alarm bells started going off when I realized that there were some portions of the teaching which were completely opposite of what the Bible teaches about Heaven and Hell. Therefore, when friends or coworkers or clients talk about "The Secret" I can appreciate certain aspects of the principles being taught, but I can also say confidently that not everything that is taught in "The Secret" is scripturally accurate.
And so, I had a similar experience again this week, when I had received a reading suggestion from a blogger that I follow regularly. Therefore I leaped to the library to find a couple of the specific author's books to drag them home and begin to greedily consume the contents. But again, lo and behold, I found again more teachings that were blatantly idolatrous and against the teachings of Christianity. Big sigh....ugh....and disappointment.
I must say that I personally don't find any moral contradiction between studying the principles of success and I find it to be in keeping with my Christian values. However, when I, who am no expert, can easily discern when a teaching is not biblical, I know when I need to stop reading. With my faith in Jesus Christ, my guard goes back up tall and strong and I have a personal recognition that when I can not trust a certain author to respect my christian world or life view.
The "New Age" has brought a refreshing hunger for ALL things spiritual. But just because a teaching is "spiritual" doesn't mean that it is biblically accurate or trustworthy. Well, you might be saying to yourself....how do we then know if a book or author or teaching is biblically accurate? Well , my simple answer is this.....we all need to get regularly tanked up on the reading and speaking of the Holy Bible. Read the bible often, or listen to it on line or on your smart phone. Bible gateway has a great Audio Bible app that is free to download. When we fill up our brains with His word, we become more sensitive to be able to discern when something sounds off kilter. We become better able to guard our hearts and minds from false teachings and half-truths.
So, I am not going to recommend that you throw out all your "self help" or "success strategy" books or cd's or tapes. I am just going to say, that you have the duty to yourself to not submit to every teaching that comes up on the radar as trendy or popular. Use your common sense, prayer and your own understanding of the Scriptures to glean the goodies from the baddies. Don't fall into the temptation to become a "book burner"
and don't become fearful of bookstores or audio teachings. Just pray and ask your Heavenly Father to honor your quest as you seek to learn more and become more. God wants to bring you success even more than you want to achieve it. Let's just not be so gullible as to fall for every spoken or written word that comes our way.
Peace and prosperity.