A Secret Truth?

I have a secret.

I've not read The Secret.

After reading today's Fast Company's "First Impressions I don't think it all that necessary. There is a great article on the glut of self-help books following on The Secret's heels. But executive coach, Francisco Dao, warns,
"People want answers and that's what The Secret and positive thinking gives them. But if your desire to have answers is greater than your desire for the truth, you're going to make some really bad decisions."

Don't get me wrong, I find self-help books to be encouraging and full of great quotes and creative ideas. They can give you some great jumping off points to ask better questions.

That's just it, does self-help actually answer the questions being asked? Is all that happens good, the result of positive thinking? What about all that is bad?

After I was diagnosed with cancer, I was watching a local preacher whose services were nationally syndicated. In his sermon, he declared, "...that bad things happen when you take Jesus off the throne of your heart." Well, that was an answer but I question whether it was truth. Let me tell you, as a pastor, that was a real "help" to my questions about having cancer. I can only imagine how that "helped" people, especially when the next week, after my surgery, I saw the same preacher, preaching with a cast on his arm. So did he take Jesus off the throne?

There are all kinds of "answers" which can be given. Unfortunately, the answers may not be to the questions you or I or anyone else is asking. They may even be wrong answers to the right questions, but once published, and selling millions, who cares?

Repeated failures and difficulties are not solved by answers, but by asking the right questions and seeking the truth.

Paul's words to the Philippians remain, the most powerful for many, regarding difficult times. I fear too many see them as platitudes like most self-help. However, coming from one, beaten, bruised, imprisoned, and scorned by his own people for his faith, Paul speaks real words of hope. It is hope not because it is the answer, but because it is the truth. Indeed, there is a real secret...
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13 NASB)

May I Ask: What answers are you getting? What questions are you asking?
May I Suggest: Read Don the Idea Guy's post Killing Cats for some great questions (no, really, I LIKE cats!).


John said...

I haven't read The Secret. Well, not completely. A patient had me read from it out loud. It seemed to me to be health-and-wealth gospel for the New Age movement.

John said...

Correction. I mean "name it and claim it" theology for New Age movement.

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