I am reviewing, Fresh Start – The new you begins today – by Joel Osteen [Tweet This]
The New Year brings an excitement as we anticipate a clear calendar and new hope for the coming months. We look in the rear view mirror and give thanks for 2015 while we look ahead and wonder what’s in store. It’s the feeling of a new beginning—A Fresh Start.
In his newest book called, Fresh Start: THE NEW YOU BEGINS TODAY, Joel Osteen says:
“The best decision of your life was to live your life with God at the center. That was the essential first step to living at your full potential… the key to experiencing an extraordinary life every day is to grow in your relationship to God.” (Fresh Start, Back Cover Copy)
Fresh Start chapters offer common sense reminders:
To have a thankful heart and recognize God’s goodness
To keep God in first place in your life
To release negative experiences, and more
There are eight keys to victorious living. I need these prompts. I think we all do, because we are both human and prone to the negative. Joel Osteen’s book contains the reminders we need as we attempt to walk with God and live victoriously.
When we live like God’s in charge, we don’t always have an explanation or perfect outcome. But, we can trust that the big picture is good because He is good.
My Fresh Start Reservations [Tweet This]
My only caveat to this endorsement is to mention that Pastor Osteen uses some positive thinking lingo which can be either helpful or blinding depending on your presuppositions. Let me explain.
As a reviewer I don’t have the ability to clarify Joel Osteen’s meaning for some of his statements. One is found on Page 28. He begins on Page 27 by quoting, God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, and goes on to explain the reward. He writes:
“God has a reward that has already been put in place. It’s just waiting to be released. The only catch is we need to meet the demands of the reward. God makes it so easy: You don’t even have to find me. If you will seek me – if you will get up in the morning and thank me, read My Word, and make an effort to please Me – I will give you the reward.
Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you; (Matthew 6:33) notice the key: seek first the kingdom. In other words don’t seek the blessing, seek the Blessor.… Don’t chase after money, fame, fortune… Chase after God. If you will seek the Blessor, He promises all these things will be added unto you. Not a few things; all these things.” ~ Page 28, Fresh Start
As the reviewer, I share this because my discernment-meter goes up a notch and wonder what Pastor Osteen means by being rewarded by all these things. Does he mean money, fame and fortune? And it sounds as though we need to jump through hoops in order to please God. And, for blessings to come our way—we must work for them.
As with anything I read, I need to measure it against the Word of God. I advise readers to pray for God’s wisdom and discernment whenever we read books, listen to sermons, etc.
A Fresh Start Means Putting On Our Identity In Christ
In Fresh Start, Joel Osteen also points out our need to put on our identity in Christ rather than be influenced by our past or the view of others. Can I get an amen?
Personally, I have experienced this book’s message, that hurtful words and labels do not have to define us. The enemy will use any lie or half-truth to disable, discourage, and defeat God’s children. Knowing the character of God, the promises of God and our identity in Christ will counteract the damage the enemy tries to inflict. I’m living proof of this victory.
Fresh start will get you going in your walk with God. Just know that it’s God’s power that does the transforming as you get to know Him, not by any power of your own. Our positive thoughts come from knowing God’s character, in seeing who He is and who we are becoming because of His grace.
So with a caution about the positive—thinking—pull—yourself—up message that could get caught in your net as you read, if you have a realistic view of yourself as needing God to accomplish any work in your life and heart, you can glean a healthy measure of good advice from Fresh Start.