Psst, I Agree With Victoria Osteen
A while back, the wife of renowned televangelist Joel Osteen made headlines when she made the following comments, “When we obey God, we’re not doing it for God…we’re doing it for ourself. Because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. Do good ’cause God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God, really. You’re doing it for yourself because that’s what makes God happy.” This set off a maelstrom of criticisms from Christians who were dismayed over these words. Some church leaders and pastors posted the incriminating video on Facebook with various unflattering captions. I read a few but try as I may, I just could not see what the issue was. Maybe I need to be prayed for because, heaven forbid, not only did I not see a problem with what she said, I actually saw the point she was trying to make.
As selfish as it sounds, Victoria Osteen is right, we really are worshiping God to ensure our own happiness. The Psalmist sings that ‘Trust and obey to be happy in Jesus.” We sing it in our churches without ever questioning the merit of it. So why now? We try to bring people to Christ by telling them it’s the way to their happiness. We promise the sad and depressed that their lives will be happier and more fulfilling if they find and follow Jesus. Isn’t that what our Christianity is based on? We never start by telling the non-believers that they should worship God because he needs it. Or that he deserves it. No, we tell them how much their lives would be enriched by knowing Christ. Your neighbour complains to you how miserable her life is and you go, “Maybe you should come to church with me. It might make you feel better.” Isn’t that exactly what Victoria said?
So in a nutshell, we are not exactly doing it for God since his existence does not hinge on whether we worship him or not. We are doing it for ourselves. For our continual happiness and existence. To say it doesn’t make him happy when we do worship him is denying a fact. When he’s happy with us, we reap the harvest. We find happiness that comes from him. Therefore, we really can’t deny the fact that we are indeed doing it for ourselves.
Victoria’s wording may have left a bit to be desired but the message is not entirely lost. It’s funny that even though we all fall under the umbrella of Christianity, we still can’t agree on what and who God is. and what he wants of us. We have our own ideas and opinions, I do too, and that’s why this is just…