Heresies taught in this book (please click links for explanation):
Thank you for reading this. Itʼs important for you to take this for what it is, a biblical critique of the book you just bought, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential. The basic premise of this book is that you are promised to have your best life now if you follow seven steps outlined by Mr. Osteen that are supposedly supported in Godʼs word.
The title of this book should cause you some consternation if you are a professing Christian. Your best life is not now, no matter what worldly possessions you have or worldly happiness you attain. Your best life is yet to come in your eternal state with your Creator after you die. The only application of attaining your best life now is if you are headed for hell. Sadly, this is where most of Mr. Osteenʼs followers are headed since he does not preach the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, but peddles a prosperity gospel comprised of health, wealth, and happiness.
This is not biblical Christianity, but a clever enterprise to attract worldly- minded people to the things lost soulʼs already crave in their fallen state -health, wealth, and happiness- while misusing and abusing Godʼs word as the supposed impetus for these me-centered worldly aspirations.
Here are the seven steps to living up to your full potential according to Mr. Osteen:
1) Enlarge your vision.
2) Develop a healthy self-image.
3) Discover the power of your thoughts and words. 4) Let go of the past.
5) Find strength through adversity.
6) Live to give.
7) Choose to be happy.
As you can see by this list, this book is nothing more than a self-help manual based on an old non-Christian idea that focuses on the power of positive thinking instead of Jesus Christ and His perfect work. The bookʼs main focus is on financial success and material gain. Here are some excerpts that are clearly unbiblical and cannot be supported by scripture, even though Mr. Osteen will inject out of context bible verses in order to lead you to believe otherwise:
“God wants to increase you financially.”
“Perhaps youʼre searching for a parking spot in a crowded lot, say ʻFather, I thank you for leading and guiding me. Your favor will cause me to get a good spot.”
“When you think positive, excellent thoughts, you will be propelled toward greatness, inevitably bound for increase, promotion, and Godʼs supernatural blessings.”
“God helps those who think well of themselves.”
As Christians, we are to commanded to “set our minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2) and taught “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6). We are to be satisfied and sufficient, and not seek for more than what God has already given us. He alone is the source of true contentment, not the health, wealth, and prosperity that Mr. Osteen teaches. In fact, Paul proclaims “in whatever situation I am to be content…In any and every circumstance including plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Philippians 4:11-12). Nowhere in the New Testament are we taught to seek the selfish aspirations Mr. Osteen espouses.
Mr. Osteenʼs obsession on material and financial gain is the exact antithesis of the Bibleʼs teachings. Consider these verses for clarity:
- “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25).
- “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
- Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life-is not from the Father but is from the world (1 John 2:15-16).
In summary, this book is a self-help manual that promotes the lie of the power of positive thinking. Thinking highly of yourself is not a pathway to happiness, its a pathway to pride and will clearly distance you from God.
- But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says “God opposes the proud
- but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6).
- Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves (Philippians 2:3).
And finally, this verse captures the kind of person God seeks:
- “….But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word (Isaiah 66:2).
In conclusion, Mr. Osteenʼs book is devoid of the central truths found in Godʼs word. This book is a false representation of a Christian book because there is no mention of sin, the cross, redemption, repentance, salvation, and eternity. This book is about the here and now and how to get the most out of your life with a self-centered and proud disposition while claiming it to be Godʼs will for you. If you donʼt see the problem with this philosophy, then you may not be a true follower of Jesus Christ. Thatʼs ok, I myself have been where you are. Now is your opportunity to turn to God and seek His free and perfect gift of salvation. Please listen to this link and pray to God to have mercy on you.
Please consider checking out these other resources for further information of this book, this non-Christian philosophy, and the dangers of following the teachings of Joel Osteen. May God bless you and I pray you seek the truth.
Check out these other reviews of Your Best Life Now for further information.
Review – 9 Marks
Review – Tim Challies
Review – Christian Communicators Worldwide
[Contributed by David Call]