Every month, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) publishes their bestselling book list. Every month, even when the titles change or shift their order, the never-ending parade of bestselling Christian books touts the same message:
God loves you and wants you to succeed, so try harder, find your purpose, follow your passion, and spend your money wisely.
You can browse the archives of the ECPA bestseller list at christianbookexpo.com and see that American Evangelicals have been on the same, steady diet for years and years. Not coincidentally, if you look at Billboard's Praise and Worship chart--which informs much of what is sung across Evangelicalism every Sunday--you'll see basically the same message. We read this message over and over. We sing it every week. It shapes our beliefs and our Christianity in ways that cannot be overstated.
Looking over these lists periodically, it's not hard to understand why the church in America is in the sorry state it is. Much like real junk food provides little nourishment to our bodies and causes us to crave things that are essentially the opposite of what healthy bodies need, we've been consuming spiritual junk food for years that provides no nourishment to our souls and causes us to crave the opposite of what Scripture says we need. As fast food slowly kills the body, this unbiblical message has been slowly killing our souls.
Take Jesus' words in today's Gospel reading:
Whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you will be a slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Mark 10.43-45, CSB
You won't find that teaching in the EPCA bestseller list. You also won't find it on the top of the Billboard charts. As a result, you also won't find it preached from many pulpits. But, it exemplifies the love and heart of Christ, which puts other first, which seeks others good over our own, which slowly and painfully puts to death what is self-focused in us for the sake of others.
We don't need more "self-care," which implies that we are doing things pretty well and simply need to take care of ourselves (again self-centered). We need to die to ourselves. We need to put others first. We need to serve all...out of love of Him to came to serve and save us. For, "to be saved, as everyone well knows, is nothing else than to be delivered from sin, death, and the devil, to enter into Christ’s kingdom, and to live with him forever." (Luther, Large Catechism).