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‘Become A Better You’ By Joel Osteen: Can Faith Bring You Forward In The Favour Of God?

Updated on August 4, 2012
cliff1066 on Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
cliff1066 on Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) | Source

Are you a keen religious believer, or perhaps just keen to learn more about positive thinking and the ways in which the correct approach to life can improve your lot and your contentment when you wake up in the morning everyday?

If so then you may have already come upon the works of Joel Osteen and be familiar with them, either via his sermons, televised appearances or his books, a number of which have come out in recent years.  ‘Become A Better You’ is one of them, and focuses on ways to improve oneself in a way that is mindful of God.

The seven sections are subdivided and focus on progress, positivity, relationships, habits, acceptance, spirituality and passion for life.  Personally I found section five, ‘Embrace The Place Where You Are’, to be the most useful for me, but of course your mileage may vary.  It does not advocate a stultifying acceptance of the status quo – it is still, after all, necessary to work and strive for one’s goals.  But I think it is a useful reminder that the current moment is not merely a waystation to the future but also a goal in itself, the aim and end to which all previous moments have been tending.  And, if you are a person of belief, the place where God intends you to be, right at this minute.

Osteen’s writing is rooted in Christianity, but I often still find it to be useful for a grizzled old agnostic such as myself.  Bad practices, little attention paid to personal relationships, bitterness over past hurts and worrying about the future: these things do none of us any good whatever our religious views may be or not be.  If Osteen’s exhortations do something to improve your attitudes and the resulting circumstances of your life, how much does it matter what religious roots they spring from?  (Of course, if you’re a Christian, it matters very much indeed!)


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