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The Best Self-Help Book Ever! The Sermon on the Mount from The Bible

April 4, 2021

This isn’t a religious post, I promise!

I haven’t read many self-help books all the way through. I have a copy of How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie just because it’s old and it’s considered one of the best self-help books of all time. Since I’m a book blogger, I’ve read plenty of excerpts of self-help books because many of them are bestsellers, and I try to keep up with what’s selling and why.

I never finish reading self-help books because I get the feeling that each one is a scam. If these books aren’t scams, they’re at least scam-adjacent. The worst scams are the self-help books with profanity in the titles. I don’t take advice from people who scream profanity in public or put it in their book titles.

The best self-help comes from The Sermon on the Mount. If you read that and follow the teachings seriously, you don’t need other self-help. Well, at least I haven’t.

First of all, the advice is good, especially if you DON’T take the teachings in isolation. Some of the advice might be strange if you don’t read further and see how it all connects. Most criticism of The Sermon of the Mount comes from picking on an isolated sentence and ignoring everything else around it.

Second of all, there is no scam involved. Jesus is dead (yeah, he was resurrected. but you know what I mean). He’s not some guy telling people to spend $30.00 on a brand new book or pay $500.00 for a seminar. The last copy of The Bible I bought was $8.00 new (and worth every penny). The Sermon is public domain, so nobody cares if you publish it yourself.

If you try to make money on publishing The Sermon on the Mount, however, you’re probably not following Jesus’s teachings very closely. Maybe. I try not to judge too much.

Third, it doesn’t matter what you think about the existence of Jesus. I have no opinion about him. I don’t know if he’s the literal son of God, or a prophet, or a fiction. I don’t even care (that much). The teachings of The Sermon on the Mount are great!

Fourth, The Sermon on the Mount is short. Most self-help books are hundreds of pages full of blather and filler. The Sermon on the Mount is only a few pages long. The teachings are pretty clear. It’s easy to go back and reread the parts you like (or the parts you need the most).

You might disagree with me, but that’s okay. The Bible can be confusing and seemingly contradictory (and there are a bunch of reasons for that, but I’m not that kind of blogger), but The Sermon on the Mount is pretty clear. If you read only one part of The Bible, that’s what I would read.

Maybe I should rephrase that. If you read only one self-help book, then read The Sermon on the Mount.

  1. Hello. I read both the sermon on the mount and ‘the subtle art of not giving a f*ck’. I can tell you now, the subtle art is a great self help book. The title may be offensive but the content – the fresh thinking – all is great in my opinion. The sermon on the mount is mission impossible. Have a great day.

  2. Excellent Content ….Amazing

  3. I agree with you on this. The sermon is still profound and actionable 2000 years later.

  4. chattingaboutgod permalink

    Hi, I read your post twice, and my only thought…do you know the author of the Sermon on the Mount ? When you do…you’ll see what Jesus meant in whole new light. Praying for Godly vision, God Bless, Dave

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