So, I promised when I made my post 12 Books for Christian Living that I would read and review each one. I just finished Joel Osteen’s book, “Think Better, Live Better.” And here is my honest review.
I loved it! It had just the right amount of truth and encouragement that I needed at this time of my life.
Let me break this down into a short overview of each chapter. But I highly recommend that you read this book for yourself because you won’t get the truth and encouragement you need from this quick breakdown.
Chapter One: Reprogram Your Mind
This chapter was talking about how our minds are like computer programs. When God originally wired us, He put in the perfect hardware and software. We weren’t an accident. But, over time, our software has been corrupted by viruses implanted by the enemy, by the world, by sin, by ungodly thinking. Joel explains why it is so important that we use God’s Word and thinking about His truth to reprogram our minds. I know I need this in my own life because I have too much “stinkin’ thinkin'” and I need to focus on God’s Truth. I need positive thoughts to encourage and motivate me every day.
Chapter Two: Remove Negative Labels
Society is far too obsessed with putting labels on everyone. Joel explains that, while your family, friends, coworkers, teachers, even strangers, may have placed negative labels on you (lazy, useless, unworthy, selfish, etc.) you need to focus on the labels God has placed on you: loved, worthwhile, precious, prosperous, victorious. I’ve never really had negative labels placed on me (praise God) because my parents and my husband have only ever been positive and encouraging. I was homeschooled (so no negative teachers) and had very few friends. However, I still can have a negative self-image because of the lies the enemy tells me inside my own thoughts. And I can’t believe the labels that the enemy tries to place on me and restrict me from becoming everything God has created me to be.
Chapter Three: Release the Full You
We have a lot of bad habits, mindsets that are unhealthy, and negative thoughts. If we want to be everything that God created us to be, we have to learn to renew our minds with God’s Word and remember who we are in Christ. I want to be that person. I want to be a godly woman who lives every day for the Lord. I want to walk in peace, joy, and love. But the only way to do that is to root out the negative mindsets, the lies of the enemy, the worldly way of thinking, and renew my mind with God’s Word and prayer.
Chapter Four: Think Yourself to Victory
Many times we don’t realize the power of our thoughts. God talks about thoughts a lot. We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), we should only think on specific things (Philippians 4:8), and we should take every thought captive and submit it to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). That’s only a handful of what the Scripture says about our thoughts. Clearly, choosing what we think is paramount to living a blessed, happy, fruitful, and victorious life. We will never reach our dreams or be truly content if we have negative, stinkin’ thinkin’. That is why for the past two months of October and November, I have been focusing on filling my mind with positive, joyful, peaceful, Scripture-driven thoughts.
Chapter Five: Pregnant with Possibility
Every one of us is pregnant with a dream. Maybe you don’t realize it yet. But God has placed a dream in each one of our hearts. Maybe it’s to start your own business, maybe to write a book, maybe to travel the world, maybe to be a spouse or parent, maybe to volunteer your time, maybe to help other people. Whatever the dream, and it will be specific to you, the calling God has placed in your life, and the gifts He has given you, you are pregnant! You are pregnant with the possibility of what you can achieve through Christ. But pregnant women don’t give birth immediately. They go through nine-ten months of growth. For us, that could be weeks, months, or more likely years. And then, when it is time to give birth, pregnant women go through extreme pain. For us, that means we’re going to face trials and tribulations, things that will make us grow and mature so we are ready to accomplish the dream God has implanted in us. Finally, the formerly-pregnant woman holds her infant in her arms. Dream accomplished.
Chapter Six: The Promise is in You
Don’t compare yourself to other people. God gave you the body, the appearance, the gifts, the dreams – not someone else. Don’t expect others to always understand your dream, or even to support it. God didn’t give it to them. He anointed you for the task. Every one of God’s children has a promise on their lives. Our job is to learn what that promise is and to take the steps we can take to achieve it. If we are being faithful and doing what we can do, God will be even more faithful and do what we can’t do. For my husband, his calling is to own his own business. He can set up the business, order the products, learn everything he can to be successful. But only God can make him a success. For me, my calling is to be an author. I can write the books. I can even self-publish now. But I can’t make people read them, or like them, or share them with others. Only God can do that. But, my husband is doing all he can to start these businesses. I am doing what I can to finish my book. Everything else is in God’s control.
Chapter Seven: Ask Big
God doesn’t want us to pray small prayers. He wants us to have big faith. To ask for big things. To ask for the impossible. Why? Because He is the God of the impossible! Don’t just ask to “get by” in life, in your finances. Ask God to get you out of debt, to bless you abundantly above and beyond all you could ask or imagine so that you can be a blessing to others. Justin and I don’t want to make millions of dollars so we can buy a big house, a fancy car, expensive clothes, more video games, etc. We want money so we can be a bigger blessing to others. We want to donate to ministries (like Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen), or nonprofit organizations like the ASPCA or the Wounded Warrior Project. I know I want to help our families, or meet the needs of someone around us, or bless a complete stranger who needs it. We have hearts towards helping others, not to our own possessions and desires. In fact, we aren’t buying a house until we retire. I want a minimalist wardrobe (though I do want good-quality clothes so they don’t fall apart on me while we travel). Every time we move, we get rid of more possessions. We only want the bare minimum. And God does care about motives. If you are asking big so you can be rich and famous for your own glory, God won’t bless that. But if you want to be rich and famous so you can use that money and power to bless others, to change the world for the better, God will bless that! I could honestly go on and on about this subject, but that’s another post for another time. Ask God for big things. For healing, for restoration, for that perfect spouse, for children who love Him, whatever is in your heart – ask Him!
Chapter Eight: You Have What You Need
If you don’t have something right now like a spouse, a child, money, a job, etc. then you don’t need it right now. God doesn’t withhold any good thing from His children (Psalm 84:11). So, if we don’t have something we’re asking for, we don’t need it right now. That doesn’t mean we’ll never receive it. It means we aren’t ready for it yet, or maybe it isn’t ready for us. Justin and I waited years for one another. I was 28 when I got married. I thought I would never get married. I thought it was too late. But there was a reason God didn’t bring us together earlier in life. We weren’t ready. We needed to grow, to mature before we could work well together. I know personally, I was far too selfish to get married earlier in my life. Now, I’ve grown and matured. I can still be selfish, but I’m a lot more open and willing to change and grow and learn from my mistakes. So, if you want something or think you need something but don’t have it right now, then you don’t need it right now. God will bring it in His perfect timing.
Chapter Nine: Keep Your Crown
People, the enemy, and events in life will try to take your crown. You see, as children of God, we all wear a crown of glory. You are a prince or a princess of heaven. You wear a crown of royalty. But when we think less of ourselves, when we think negatively, doubt God’s promises, etc. we are giving up our crowns. We are saying, in effect, that we aren’t worth it. We can’t accomplish our dreams. We can’t grow and get better. We have to keep our crowns. Don’t let the enemy, the world, even well-meaning friends, and family tell you who you are or what you should do. Only God really knows who you are. Only God knows the plans He has for your life.
Chapter Ten: Just Remember
God told the Israelites to remember everything that God had done for them in the past. God wants us to the same. Maybe you have tough things going on right now. I know we do. Our finances are not stable, we’re living by faith every single day, struggling to get our businesses not only running but profitable. Nothing is certain. But, what has God done in the past?
God always provided finances to pay bills for my parents and Justin. Ever since we got married in 2016, God has made sure we had our bills paid, food in our bellies, etc. God provides.
When I was a baby, I contracted some weird disease. I almost died and the doctors never knew what it was. But I recovered and I’ve been fine since. God healed me.
I thought I would be alone forever. When I didn’t get married at eighteen, nineteen, twenty, I began to wonder if it would ever happen. Just before I met Justin, I had given up. And then God opened the door to bring us together. I’m not lonely anymore. Justin couldn’t be more of a perfect match for me. God brought me a husband.
I used to go downtown Charleston by myself at least once a week. I realize now how dangerous that was. I’d walk around with headphones on, dressed to impress and draw attention to myself, not at all being smart about my own safety. But I never got attacked. Nothing bad ever happened to me. God kept me safe. (Though I don’t recommend anyone else doing that – I realize now that I was foolish and thank God that He didn’t let me pay for that foolishness)
And those are just a few of things that God has done. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other things that I need to be dwelling on, instead of thinking about what I don’t have.
So, that’s Joel Osteen’s book, “Think Better, Live Better.” I thought it was awesome. No negative comments to make, honestly. If you need encouragement and want to live a happier, more peace-filled life, then definitely read this book for yourself! I highly recommend it!