Whenever I am in an airport and have a little extra time prior to boarding my flight, I have a habit of browsing through the book section of the nearest shop that sells books.
I always find it interesting to see what new books and what types of books are on display, especially the current best sellers. I am often intrigued at the number of self-help books that deal with broad ranging topics such as success in relationships, time management, making and investing money, how to win friends, how to be happy and overcoming procrastination.
When I pick up a book, I always read the bio of the author found in the back of the book. When it comes to books about self improvement or the topics listed above, I am always curious about the author's qualifications. What experience, education or expertise does he or she have about the topic? I often judge how beneficial a self-help book might be on the collective wisdom of the author.
This past week I had such a experience.
I was in an airport and had some time prior to my flight. I thumbed through several self-help related books, many with flashy titles written by accomplished subject matter experts. I am sure each of these books contains valuable and meaningful advice; I just wish that I had time to read all of them.
That particular day I had 4.5 hour flight, so I prepared a few things to read. One was Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7 from the New Testament of the Bible. These chapters contain a discourse given by Jesus Christ to his disciples and others and include frequently quoted teachings such as the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer.
As I studied these chapters in Matthew, I soon realized what I was reading was really some great self-help material.
I found such meaningful advice related the following:
- How to interact with those with whom we may not get along with
- What kind characteristic traits generate blessings from God
- The appropriate way to pray
- The appropriate way to fast
- How and what type of goals to set
- Why it is important not to judge others
- The importance of forgiving others
- How to live a purpose driven life
- How to serve God
- The purpose our life on this earth
These chapters from the Book of Matthew would fit nicely on the same shelf with all of the self-help books at in the airport! When it came time to validate the authors experience, education,or expertise, I didn’t need to read the author's bio at the end of the book.
In conclusion, I would like to extend an invitation to all who are looking for any self-help, life enrichment or life betterment opportunities to read and practice the advice and lessons found in the Sermon on the Mount.