I don’t want to pick on the book. I’ve never read it. I did see this line on Amazon though which made me stop and think: “Faith in yourself makes good things happen to you.”
I often feel negatively about myself and my circumstances. Good things do happen to me, and yet it’s still so easy to spend time focusing on the negative, and I can see how that could affect life in a long-term way.
But my question to myself is, if I change my thinking to think positively about myself, to have faith in myself, is my life really going to become much better?
There are a couple of concepts that stick in my head from the Bible that might help weigh in on this.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
In all things — so even when I’m feeling negatively about my life and things are going wrong (presumably because I wasn’t thinking positively), God’s working for my good.
All of James 1 is brilliant on this topic too, but here’s a bit of it.
James 1:1 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
There’s definitely an encouragement here to think positively, and I’ve been working on that in my life. But it’s interesting to note here that it’s an attitude of joy in trials, because our faith being tested brings about good things in our lives.
I see two completely different beliefs here.
1) Have faith in yourself, believe good things will happen in your life, and they will. (And if you think negatively, you deserve the bad stuff that happens because of that.)
2) No matter what happens to you in life, God is working to produce good within you, and you should have joy because you know it will strengthen your faith in God.
Both concepts sell books. Which one works to bring joy to someone who is a mess and desperately searching?