I Can Make You Purple

selfhelpHere’s something you might not know.

No matter what problem you’re facing: divorce, bereavement, addiction, depression… there’s a simple five step programme to fix it.

Whatever you want to be


There’s a guru out there with a plan. A strategy to implement. Something YOU can do to make things better. And all for just £9.99, (with free steak knives for the first 50 subscribers).

I wouldn’t fall for it, of course.  The very idea!  Ridiculous. So we’ll take a completely random example:

Let’s say for example, you’d like to have a baby.  Specialists with years of training and experience may have tried – and failed – to make it  happen.  Well – they’re wrong. They don’t know what they’re talking about.  The answer is simple: and if you read enough books or trawl enough message boards, if you want it enough – you’ll find it.

Some titles:  Cure Your Womb; Conquering Infertility; The Infertility Cleanse, Taking Charge of Your Cycles.

You might be 73 and have had a hysterectomy. But the real issue is this: you haven’t been taking charge.  Infertility is a Challenge and by sheer force of Wanting, You can Overcome It.

Or think of Depression.  Some advocate you ‘survive’ it.  Others, that you ‘overcome it’.You need ‘Potatoes Not Prozac’. Or maybe ‘The 20 Rules of Happiness’.

Addicted to roller-coasters? The problem lies with your pulse points.  Your attitude. Your diet. The way you pray. Thank goodness Jim-Bob Jimmy-Bob’s got a revolutionary new cure.

I’m exaggerating  – because I’m frustrated.  Some self-help books are useful.  Wise, practical, encouraging.

But others are not. Instead of help, they offer a solution. They target the weak: those in pain – weary, crushed, confused. People looking for hope, but buying into empty promises instead.

Jesus says:

You don’t have the answer.

You can’t help yourself.

You need me. And I’m already yours.




7 thoughts on “I Can Make You Purple

  1. It’s not much of an exaggeration, to be fair. I know exactly what you mean, especially regarding infertility. Individuals and businesses in pursuit of a profit will naturally exploit our insecurities and needs – this is bad enough – but what makes it worse is the internalisation of guilt that goes along with, exactly as you describe: ‘You can have what you want, but only if you really, really want it; if you don’t get it, you can’t have really wanted it…etc’. Obviously there are things that can be done to “improve” your chances, but ultimately so much in our life is effectively beyond our control – even (especially) our desires.

  2. Amen to all the above.
    But…what happens when that’s still not enough, when no matter how much you believe it should be and it is, Jesus, God, Christian faith, christian hope hasn’t yet been the solution. It’s the text book answer, the right answer, but it isn’t answering it this time. It’s the answer I would give to anyone else, the solution I would offer and advise, but it’s not cutting the cake for me. When you’ve tried all else, when you’ve tried Christian approaches, non-Christian approaches, medical approaches, therapy, reaching the end of the rope-tieing a knot and hanging on, and none of them get you anywhere: it leaves you with little option.

  3. But I don’t want to be purple. I want to be royal blue and sparkly – like a peacock!

  4. Hi J,

    So sorry for how things are at the moment. Emma and I are praying lots. When we say that ‘Jesus is the answer’ it doesn’t mean that wars cease, disease is eradicated, car crashes are a thing of the past… A million hellish things happen in the world and Jesus doesn’t ‘solve’ them in the sense of stepping in to fix the problem here and now. That’s what’s so frustrating and it gives birth to so much of the Bible – see Job or the Psalms.

    What Jesus does promise is to enter the mess (not necessarily to fix it but to give us fellowship in participating in His sufferings, Philippians 3:10). And He offers a hope beyond war and disease and car crashes and everything else. It’s not a fix in the sense that we crave, but it is deeper and longer lasting than anything we’ve imagined.

  5. I’m with J. I so want Jesus to be the answer and I’m trying and trying for Him to be, but sometimes I’m stuck here on this earth all alone with no one to support me and I havenostrength and I would love Jesus to just come down and give me a massive hug and take me to be with Him and He doesn’t …literally i was just looking up on google ‘is suicide a sin’ when I read this…not sure how. Maybe I fine the blog after this now…

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