Tuesday, October 23, 2007
expecting the best of others?
I stood in the grocery store waiting for the pharmacy to open. To kill the time I took the free blood pressure test. That didn't take too long. My blood pressure is always excellent. That's not a problem I have.
With more time to fill I browsed a book kiosk. His book caught my eye; Joel Osteen's new book. I blogged about this t.v. preacher earlier this week and decided to read a little of his work while I waited. I discovered that there is no need to purchase his book. Thumbing through each chapter gives just the enough info to get the whole message.
I turned to the chapter giving suggestions as to how to get the best out of people.
Note: To the right you can see the book I am currently reading.....The Zoo Keepers Wife. A story set in Warsaw, Poland after the Nazi invasion. The above banner sometimes hangs in our church. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has in our Book of Confessions, The Theological Declaration of Barmen. Faithful Christians rejected Nazism in their time. It cost many of them their lives. We continue to reject Nazism.
With the Nazi story fresh on my mind I read Osteen's words....they went something like this:
"If you expect the best from someone you will be pleasantly surprised!"
Yeah, deep thoughts from a shallow thinker. In the beginning of the nightmare begun by Hitler, many Jews were hoping better things from the Nazi's. In the end no amount of hopeful thinking could make a difference. Oh, there were surprises but they were far from pleasant!
I challenge anyone to take Osteen's shallow, Pollyanna theory and apply it to people who have serious dysfunction: an alcoholic, an abuser, a child molester. "Just think better of them and you will be pleasantly surprised."
Good thoughts couldn't and didn't change Nazism. I would go on to say that Osteen's kind of message is the very message that enables alcoholics, abusers, molesters, etc....to have their way.
Osteen's message is no laughing matter!