Joel Osteen is quite possibly the most inspiring speaker I have ever heard.
Whether you agree with his statements or not, one would almost have to agree that Osteen has great insight into the human psyche.
There are many professionals and other highly educated pastors and psychiatrists who do not come close to touching the masses in such a profound manner.
Joel Osteen delivers good news, a message of hope.
The August edition of Portfolio.com had an article by Karl Taro Greenfeld covering a service by Osteen in North Carolina. It’s obvious Greenfeld doesn’t approve of Osteen, and yet he still gives us a pretty good example of how the “down and out” crowd views Osteen and his message of hope.
Osteen doesn’t accept a salary from the Church, but instead makes more than enough from his own books and cds. He even tithes nearly half of his income back into the ministry, according to some staffers who spoke to Greenfeld.
Since he couldn’t find fault with the salary, Greenfeld decided to bring up the issue of how much money this ministry and other similar ministries spend to get their message out to the masses.
Wonder if he (Greenfeld) would be interested in how much money a rock group spends to take their music message to the world?
I also wonder if the rock band members are donating nearly half of their salary to charities?
Why does anyone care how much any group spends to get their message across to the masses?
Next we’ll be condemning Pepsii for spending all of that money on advertising when they could be doing so much more good by helping the poor and poverty stricken individuals who will spend their last buck on a soda.
As for Joel Osteen’s message of prosperity, I don’t understand why so-called conservative Christians have a problem with it. If you believe that the Creator is your Father, then surely you believe that He wants you to prosper just as your biological Father would want you to prosper. What’s the problem?
The crowd is eager, multiracial, and well-intentioned. We want to hear good words, have uplifting thoughts, be inspired by a positive message. Who doesn’t? We are here to escape our worries, or even better, to overcome them with hope. These are uncertain times, and we all feel the pangs of doubt. Can we pay our mortgage? Will we keep our job? When will we finally achieve the plus-size life we have been visualizing? Listening to Osteen, it all sounds so easy. Delete those negative thoughts. Focus on the positive. We are victors, not victims.
It may sound easy, but it isn’t.
Ask any teacher, psychologist or psychiatrist how difficult it is to change your attitude about something or someone. It is not easy.
Most people, apparently including Mr. Greenfeld, don’t believe that they have many negative thoughts in any given day. That’s because we don’t “register” every thought and thought process. We have many negative thoughts and we express many negative thoughts with our words.
- Another day another dollar.
- What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
- I hate this traffic.
- I hate my job.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a little bell that would ring every single time we had a negative thought so that we could re-think it?
No, Mr. Greenfeld, it’s not easy.
The plan may sound simple, but putting it into action takes dedication, perseverance and time.