Okay so I keep hearing about Victoria Osteen’s statement of, “doing good for you and not for God.” I’ve watched the video clip. I’ve heard what Bill Cosby had to say about it. I’ve seen the reactions and the accusations from the Christian community (which are all done in absolute love and with the best intentions—and not at all because we just don’t like the Osteens).
And I gotta say . . . I agree with Victoria.
. . . At least in part.
Granted, I think if she had it to do over again, she may have reworded it. So far, I have not heard her issue any type of clarification, although that may be forthcoming.
Regardless, if we just take the statement she made, and think about it, there isn’t really that much wrong with it. What this really comes down to is whether its right for Christians to seek rewards by serving God.
“We as Christians need to be Christ centered. Not man centered. Selfless not selfish. Full of Christ not”—-Okay okay, we get it, Mother Theresa.
Fact is, we all serve God for ourselves. Of course, not just for ourselves. But anyone who tries to tell me they are not motivated by the promises of heaven, eternal life, or joy unspeakable I just don’t believe is being honest. A quick way to demonstrate this would be to ask ourselves a simple question: Would I still serve God, if I knew I had to spend my life here on earth completely miserable and then die and be in hell forever?
If you answer, yes, then you’re still trying too hard.
There isn’t anything wrong with seeking rewards. The Bible is full of them. And they are often stated as a means of motivation for obedience to God. Deuteronomy 28 is a good example which culminates in chapter 30 where God says, “I put before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose life therefore so that you and your children will live.” He tells Israel why they should choose life—so they will live. The promise of blessings were used as a reason to obey God.
Nearly the entire first half of Proverbs chapter 3 instructs us to keep God’s commandments because they will add riches, health, and longevity to our lives.
Honestly, I just thought of these passages right now. I’m sure if you or anyone else were to sit down and give the topic some consideration, you would realize the Bible validates man’s desire to seek things for himself.
Op!—-Just thought of another one . . .
“He will reward each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek ( SEEK! that means that’s what they’re trying to get from it) glory and honor and immortality,”
I realize the, “In Thing” right now is to be critical of the Osteens . . . Or any minister who is on television . . . Or, really . . . Pretty much anyone who isn’t us. But Christians need to remember we are called to love.
“That doesn’t mean I turn a blind eye to the evils and deception of false doctrine that itches the ears which froths”—-hold up there, Billy Graham. I did not say it did. But what it does mean is that we must always be willing to believe the best (1Cor 13, AMP). That usually doesn’t come naturally for most of us. So, chances are, our first reaction to things like this will be the incorrect one.
Let’s just everyone stand back, take a deep breath and ask ourselves, “Did I hear that correctly? Is there something I’m missing? Maybe they misspoke.”
I personally don’t listen to Joel because I have a hard time following what he’s saying. So I’m not at all trying to be a defender of his ministry. But I do believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt.