Saturday, January 08, 2005


Your Best Life Now: pgs 7-20

I've decided to do a continuing review of Joel Osteen's New book "Your best Life Now". I will review the book in segments until I've finished it, or get distracted and quit, whichever comes first.

First off, I would just like to say that I agree with Mr. Osteen that a person's thoughts and views of the world have a lot to do with the amount of success (or failure) they encounter in life. My beef with Mr. Osteen is his (mis)use of bible verses to support his arguments, and his approach to God as being some sort of good luck talisman.

I begin in the final sections of the first chapter "Enlarge Your Vision":

"Maybe God wants to improve your marriage, restore your family, or promote you at work. But that seed of opportunity can't take root because of your doubts."

"He can cause you to be at the right place, at the right time. He can supernaturally turn your life around. Jesus said, "If you believe, then all things are possible.""

I assume Mr. Osteen is referring to this verse:

Matthew 17-20
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

I have no issue with Osteen saying we should have faith that God wants good things for us, surely this is true. However, our faith should be directed towards God and his good and holy will, not towards what we believe will be best for us.

As a child I desperately wanted to see a tornado. I thought it would be the neatest thing to have one touchdown right in front of me. I would pray to God that he would make this so, and had faith that he would give me a great big tornado to see. I'm glad now he didn't answer my prayer, but at the time I was disappointed in him.

The faith of the mustard seed is talking about faith in God, who can truly move any mountain in our lives, not faith that God will give us whatever we want just because we want it bad enough.

On to the next and last section of this chapter:

"Get rid of those old wineskins. Get rid of that small-minded thinking and start thinking as God thinks. Think big. Think increase. Think abundance. Think more than enough."

Like I stated in my last post on this book, the wineskin verse refers to not being able to place the Gospel into the old Jewish law. The law can only expose sin, it cannot forgive it.

Osteen would have been clearer if he added two words to end his "think" barrage. Think big (for yourself). Think increase (for yourself). Think more than enough (for yourself). Why all of this selfishness anyway? If Christ thought this way we would still be dead in ours sins because he would've never been selfless enough to die on a cross for a bunch of no-counts like us. But this is where the axe falls isn't it? And all that falling has brought us back to where it began, like it always does. Back to God's will for us versus our will for ourselves.

This is my Father’s world!
God made the world and controls it. God loved me before I was born.
God made me as I am, the way he wants me to be.
Easter is my resurrection too!
After my acceptance of Christ, God sees and approves of me, just as he does Christ.
At my baptism, God looked at me, smiled and said this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased!
God, you’re so good to me!
There is no condemnation for me in Christ. God continues to look at me and say, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased! He is continually changing me into his image. I will be as Christ.
Everything works together for my good and God will provide everything I need.
God continually smiles at me and gives me his favor.
I thank you, God, for giving me continuing favor!
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