Monday, October 14, 2019

You Can, You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner (2014) by Joel Osteen, Book Review

You Can, You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner
(2014) by Joel Osteen

"There is a winner in you. You were created to be successful, to accomplish your goals, to leave your mark on this generation. You have greatness in you. The key is to get it out," writes Joel Osteen, a beloved smiling pastor and also a controversial preacher of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. I first encounter with Joel Osteen while listening to his sermons through Podcast a few years ago. I like it because his messages are very uplifting and encouraging. They are great to listen to during my walking exercise. With his southern slang, I can hear his sincerity, positivity and love for the people. Joel is very consistent in his speaking and writing. Because I listened to Joel on YouTube too for a couple of times, I can hear his intonations and imagine his movements when I read this book. I enjoy reading it.

Long-Note: Let me share with you what I think about Joel Osteen because there are people – both well-meaning people and pure haters alike – warned about him and labelled him as preaching the health and wealth gospel or simply known as the prosperity gospel. Is it true? YES. As Christians, we all should be alert and guard ourselves against false teachers and false teachings. I'm not in ignorance, I fully aware of it. But I have this principle in my reading: Read widely and apply critical thinking (I've read half a dozen of books on atheism, but I'm still a Christ-follower today. I learned a great deal from those books). When I read and listen to Joel Osteen, I'm not coming to him for Biblical teachings and the Word expositions. I consider him as motivational speaker, period (the Lakewood Church might call him ‘pastor' and ‘preacher' but I don't call him with these titles). Not everyone can do it, I admit, but I'm very good with compartmentalizing each book/author into categories. Joel Osteen, to me, is in the same category as Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Les Brown, etc. In short: Joel Osteen is a good Christian motivational speaker but a bad gospel preacher. His message is more like Napoleon Hill rather than like Andrew Murray. If you're a Christian, I would like to suggest that you treat this book as an inspirational or motivational or self-help book and I can assure you that you can learn some valuable lessons from it.

Okay, about the book, You Can You Will, Joel Osteen believes that we are all a winner. "Winning is in your DNA," he writes, "and it's about to come out in a greater way. You may have had some victories in the past, but you haven't seen anything yet." To reach your potential and achieve new levels of success in your life, he outlines Eight (8) Qualities that Every Winner Must Have, namely:

#1 Keep Your Vision in Front of You. Dare to dream big dreams. This might trigger theological alert, fairly so, but I share this quote anyway: "If you keep the vision in front of you and don't get talked out of it, but just keep honouring God, being your best, thanking Him that it's on the way, God will supersize whatever you're believing for. He'll do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond." If you keep your vision in front of you, you'll move forward.

#2 Run Your Race. Focus on your unique course and goals. "The scripture talks about those who loved the praise of people more than the praise of God. One of the tests we all have to pass is when someone in our lives that we respect and look up to – a boss, a friend, a colleague, a relative – wants us to go to one direction when we know in our hearts that we should take another path." Be secure enough in who you are that you don't live to please people says Osteen. Run your race.

#3 Expect Good Things. Anticipate great opportunities. Read this motivational quote: "Our expectations set the limits for our lives. If you expect little, you're going to receive little. If you don't anticipate things to get better, then they won't. But if you expect more favour, more good breaks, a promotion, and an increase, then you will see new levels of favour and success."

#4 Have a Positive Mindset. Take control of your thoughts and attitudes. "Daniel and Joseph were good people, but they had bad circumstances," explains Osteen. "Unfair things happened to them. They were mistreated and faced huge obstacles. If you study their lives, you'll find one common denominator: They were always positive. They had this attitude of faith… they started each day with their minds going in the right direction, knowing that our God is well able."

#5 Commit to Excellence. Do your best and maintain high standards. "When you have a spirit of excellence, you do your best whether anyone is watching or not. You go the extra mile. You do more than you have to." I love the story when Joel struggled to either pick up trash that flew about 15 feet away due to the wind or left it there. He chooses to pick it up and little that he knows that there were people watching the whole thing. "When you are excellent, your life gives praise to God. That's one of the best witnesses you can have. Some people will never go to church. They never listen to a sermon. They're not reading the Bible. Instead, they're reading your life. They are watching how you live… You're representing almighty God." 

#6 Keep Growing. Be proactive, be intentional, build on your gifts, and continually improve. This is powerful: "Young people often get caught up in trying to be popular instead of trying to be their best." Decide to grow in some way every day.

#7 Serve Others. This is one of my favourite chapters! Invest yourself in others. "Jesus pulled out His towel, bowed down and washed [the disciple's] feet one by one. He gave us His example of service to others so we would know you're never too important to be good to people. You're never too successful. You're never too high to bow down low and serve another person." Love this phrase: You're never too important to be good to people.

#8 Stay Passionate. Light the fire within and approach life with enthusiasm. "If you want to stay passionate, you have to stay productive. You have to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. When you're not producing, you're not growing. You may retire from your job, but don't ever retire from life. Stay busy." The word passionate is similar to the word enthusiasm which comes from the Greek word ‘entheos.' ‘Theos' is a term for ‘God.' So, when you're enthusiastic, you are full of God!


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