Monday, January 10, 2005


Your Best Life Now: pgs 21-36

This is part of my continuing review (previous posts: Here, Here) of Joel Osteen's new book "Your Best Life Now".

Again I would like to start by saying that, as a motivational speaker, Mr. Osteen is very good. His opinions on thought and behavior modification, and their ability to bring about consistently positive results in one's life, are right on the money in my view.

Also again, my issue with Mr. Osteen is two fold. His twisting of bible verses out of their original context in order to support his opinions, and his focus on selfishness and worldly things for happiness.

Am I the only harbinger of the bible's truths? No, I'm not. But we are not arguing over the meaning of a Revelations verse here, or even over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. These are verses where the meanings are generally agreed on. Well if they're agreed on sonspot who would fall for a false interpretation of them? People who don't know their bible, which is most people. Especially the kind of people who think they need this type of book.

I restart in Chapter 3 "God Has More in Store":

The bible promises that God will give us "a twofold recompense for our former shame." That means if you'll keep the right attitude, God will pay you back double for your trouble. he'll add up all the injustice, all the hurt and pain that people have caused you, the abuse and embarrassment, and He'll pay you back with twice as much joy, peace, and happiness.

I looked up the scripture quote, and the closest thing I can find is this,"Job 11:15 then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear." I could be missing the verse somewhere, but I think he is sort of quoting the Job story. Job lost everything and was returned twice as much of everything by the Lord after much suffering.

I don't want to put words in Mr. Osteen's mouth, but I'm going to anyway. Is joy, peace, and happiness the only impression he left the reader when he made that doubling everything statement? Was monetary gain not implied as well since he used a qoute from Job, who did receive monetary gain? And we are able to find peace with God with just a right attitude? I'm 3 chapters into a book written by the pastor of the fastest growing church in America, and not once has the Gospel been mentioned. Mr. Osteen is so driven to have the reader know all the great things God could give them, but has so far not mentioned the greatest gift he already gave.


Don't let anybody convince you that God wants you to barely get by in life. The bible says, "enlarge the place of your tent. Let the curtains of your habitation be stretched out. Spare not. Lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes, for soon you will be bursting at the seams.

This is the verse:

Isaiah 54:2
2 "Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes."

I'm not strong in the OT prophets, but I know that Isaiah was a prophet that dealt mainly with prophecy concerning Judea. And I believe this is a statement from God to Judea, that if they repent, this is what they will receive. In any event, it doesn't appear to apply in the way Mr. Osteen has used it.

I'll finish with this:

Many times, we pray almost as though we are inconveniencing God. We say, "God, would you please give me a bigger apartment? I don't want to bother You for too much."
No, God wants to give you your own house. God has a dream for your life.
"How could that ever happen to me?" you ask. "I don't make enough money."
Perhaps not, but our God is well able.

Does this part really need commentary?

Check Isaiah 61:7 in the Amplified Bible version: 7Instead of your [former] shame you shall have a twofold recompense; instead of dishonor and reproach [your people] shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double [what they had forfeited]; everlasting joy shall be theirs. I believe this is what Joel Osteen is referencing.
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