Saturday, November 21, 2009

A pep talk -- from an unexpected source

I'm not a fan of Joel Osteen, the TV preacher whose congregation meets in the old Houston Summit. I have heard that his preaching is light and tends to avoid sin -- which, I understand, is key to his appeal. I also come from a tradition (Reformed) where theology is accepted only from "approved" sources.

However, my mother likes him, so when I was visiting her last night we watched one of his broadcasts. And, as I listened to his message, I was reminded of the cliche "A broken clock is right twice a day."

During his message Osteen referred to a woman who a decade ago had given up a child for adoption and who was feeling condemned as a result, and he encouraged her that today she was doing well for herself and shouldn't beat herself up for something she did back then. But here's the rub: He also said that because of the cross of Christ the "accuser" (he actually never mentioned the same Satan, but that's what he meant) had no authority to make that kind of statement.

And I needed to hear that. Without realizing it, I think I've fallen victim to some of the "negative thinking" -- I have had a lot of bad stuff happen to me, made a ton of mistakes and, despite my passionate heart and what some might call a brilliant mind, compared to others have underachieved in my life. That doesn't mean, however, that God can't do anything with me now; if He is sovereign He can do whatever He wants and I need to get in touch with Him. And perhaps I need an attitude change of my own.

So thank you, Joel, for delivering God's word to me.

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