Love him or hate him, Joel Osteen is a man with a mission. What that is, exactly, is (according to some) yet to be seen. To others, it’s clear, and he’s doing it and riding high!
My spiritual journey is woven among many blog posts here, so I won’t delve deeply today. What I will say is that I draw strength, courage and hope from different traditions and religions, including Christianity. Osteen is a Christian and the beliefs listed on his website are nothing new in the Christian tradition. It is the last tenet which seems to be the foundation for his particular brand of popularity:
… as children of God, we are overcomers and more than conquerors and God intends for each of us to experience the abundant life He has in store for us.
“Abundant life” is the operative phrase, here. Osteen is what some folks call a “prosperity preacher.” Not that he would call himself that… and I can see why! There’s a very negative connotation to it.
Now, you may be wondering why I would discuss ANY of his books in this space. Fair question, given I’ve discussed by disdain for much of what I call, “Churchianity”. Well, here’s the thing…
You may have gathered (by now) that I don’t dislike Christ. You may have also noticed that I offer the honorific capital H whenever I talk about … well… Him… or Her… God or Goddess. I prefer He/Him and use that. For all my horrible experiences in Christian churches (and they have been legion) I don’t blame Christ, for whom I have a deep and abiding belief and love.
There are a few popular religious leaders I like and follow in one way or another. Very few. I may have a book or two by each of them. I may follow them on Facebook or other social media.
I have this book and one other on CD by Joel Osteen. This perpetually upbeat and smiley guy is, as I mentioned before, loved and hated. Aren’t we all? You may poo-poo him as a flake, fake or worse. I get it. I really do. There are a lot of charlatans out there.
I just happen to… okay, like him. What can I say? I just do.
Many of the ideas in his book are not new, especially to those who are searching for self-help.
- Enlarge your vision
- Develop a healthy self-image
- Discover the power of your thoughts and words
- Let go of the past
- Find strength through adversity
- Live to give
- Choose to be happy
Very palatable list, even to non-believers, wouldn’t you say?
But make no mistake, this is a spiritual (Christian) book. And every once in a while, I just feel like sharing one.
Understand, I have very few of these kinds of books left. I used to have a ton. I’ve … oh, what’s that current catch-phrase?… ah, yes… curated… I’ve curated my collection and distilled it down to about… ten, including the Bible. The latter has my name embossed on it, in gold. It’s special.
If you are open to all sorts of messages, as I am, and the bullet-points above look like something you’d like to know more about, then yes, read this book.
If not, that’s okay by me. I offer it as an option, that’s all.
PS: The enthusiasm of Osteen is contagious. And that’s not a bad thing.