The Danger of Self Development
I would like to suggest a counter perspective to our world today.
What do I believe is the biggest danger in our world right now? I believe it to be the over emphasized attention placed on self. What greater way to divide people than to attack what is not unified. Whether it is church, family, friends, or politics, the infiltration of self focus is poisoning the well.
Where do I see it most in my life? I see it in the coaching world spoken by influencers that have built their entire persona and business through helping others to focus on self improvement. Now I’m not saying self improvement is not important, I do believe that we should always be working on ourselves. We should always set and pursue goals. Where does it become a danger? It becomes dangerous when it is always at the expense of relationships.
What do I mean by this? You’ve probably heard this, and I know I have had it spoken into me by coaches and mentors over the years. If the people in your world don’t serve you and what you’re trying to achieve, cut them out. The things that I’ve found most interesting, as a coach that likes to ask questions, is that those that speak this do cut people out, and it is not as many people as you think, yet this is not typically conveyed in their messaging. From the outside, it is made to seem that all people in disagreement with what you're working to achieve should be removed from your world. Hence, people upon this advice systematically remove people from their life, and their circle gets smaller and smaller, and at some point they are at a place where they are alone or feel alone.
Romans 12:4-5 “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
You will have people in your life that aren’t necessarily in alignment with your journey. As the verse above points out, all people unified in Christ are individually members of another.. When you cut people out of your life because they “don’t serve you well”, are you eliminating a function of the body that you should not be without? Healthy criticism and challenges are actually good for you. Notice I said healthy, and you will have to determine what that means for you. Being faced with a challenge can provide coping mechanisms that allow us to be better people and to deal with conflict resolution. If you’re always running from people in the name of “becoming the best version of you”, the rubber will meet the road at some point, and your lack of function will catch up with you. Building relationships matter. Being unified matters especially for people of Faith.
Now there will be a time when you do have to remove people from your life. It will be few, yet they are truly an enemy to who you are as a person. This person may have done, or is doing something, that has harmed you, or they are constantly attacking what you’re working to achieve in life. There is Good, and there is evil. Anyone that tells you different, and that all people are good, it is not sound advice or Biblical. Run from these individuals. Remove and build a hedge of protection from those that are evil.
I end with this, what if we talked more about building relationships in our world. What if instead of always working on ourselves that we worked on being unified? Does that mean that you can’t work on you? Absolutely not. I believe it does mean that in doing so we bring others along with us, and that means even some of the people that are a little tough to deal with at times.
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