You want to make the most of yourself. You want to be everything you were meant to be and you want to be the unique person that God made you. But where do you start? Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen each offer you a very different path to the you that you ought to be.
50 year old founder and lead pastor of the 10,000 strong Lakewood Church, Houston pastor, Joel Osteen, has one of the broadest smiles on the inspirational bookshelf. American ABC news listed him in its "10 Most Fascinating People of 2006"; the same year he was named "Most Influential Christian in America" in the US Church Report.
His influence is in the way he focuses on success in the goodness of God rather than on failure in sin. He teaches simple, biblical principles in a simple way, emphasising the power of love and a positive attitude.
Positive attitude is the big spanner in Joel Osteen's self development toolbox, with its application summed up in the title of his new book: I Declare. "People don’t realise," he says, "that with their words they are setting the course of their lives."
His method is to replace the silent, negative mindset of ‘I’ll never get out of this problem,’ or ‘I’ll never achieve my goal’ with outspoken promises straight from your mouth. In a way he turns you into the prophet on your own life with the faith and fortitude to bring those prophecies to fulfilment.
While his method requires application, it doesn’t require anything superhuman from within the individual – no great knowledge, power of mind or strength of arm. Just the faith and determination to carry out the promises he encourages you to speak out to yourself.
Joyce Meyer, on the other hand, draws much more on her personal experience and places the words of scripture in the foreground of her work.
A victim of childhood abuse and a painful divorce, the 69 year old former pastor founded her own ministry broadcasting her message of hope and transformation to 37 countries in 60 different languages as well giving material aid to children and families in poverty worldwide.
In 2005, Time magazine placed Joyce on their list of "25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America".
In contrast, Joyce has you take seriously the decisions – large and small, you make everyday. No big spanner, Joyce has a whole collection of small ones to help you tweak each decision so that it leads you where you need to go.
Her programmes are flexible, but require constant adjustment rather than the single, overarching dedication adopted by Joel Osteen. In her books, Joyce proposes a strategies for dealing with the thoughts and attitudes that lead to wrong decisions, making sure that every problem is tackled with a cool head and a direct line to God’s wisdom.
If you'd like to continue reading about Joyce and her incredible testimony and ministry, here's an article I wrote a while ago - Joyce Meyer - hurt, healing and forgiveness.
The two approaches of Joel and Joyce are complementary rather than contradictory. If you’re the kind of person that needs a strong dose of driving inspiration to set you on course for the day, then Joel Osteen’s It’s Your Time, Become a Better You or his latest I Declare might be your style.
If you want a more step by step approach to overcoming the obstacles in your way, then a copy of Joyce Meyer’s Power Thoughts, Living Beyond Your Feelings or her new Making Good Habits may be just what you’ve been waiting for.
Choosing either or both authors' books - for yourself or a friend, you can find all the current works of Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer simply by clicking on their names.
April 5th, 2013 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison