Michael Hyatt (a Christian author, speaker and consultant) recently shared the following statement on a meme:
“Whatever you hold in your mind on a consistent basis is exactly what you will experience in your life.” Tony Robbins
Think about this statement a little more deeply. This means we can control the events around us. We get exactly what we think about. It also infers that if we experience trouble and tribulation in this world then it must be our fault because we had the wrong thoughts. This is actually a rather cruel philosophy because it makes adversity the fault of the victim. Read the Tony Robbins quote again. This is the implication, or where this thinking leads when taken to its logical conclusions.
However, Jesus said we will have trouble and tribulation in this world. We live in a fallen world awaiting the final redemption.
This quote elevates our thoughts to a god-like status. As Christians, our hopes should be external in the power of Jesus – not internal in the power of our thoughts. God is sovereign, not us.
You might think I am reading far too much into the quote? Maybe he is just encouraging a positive outlook. A positive outlook is certainly a good thing in life. But the philosophy behind this way of thinking can be traced back historically. Not only does it teach a mystical power of our thoughts to influence reality – it is at odds with Christianity in just about every way possible.
In my forthcoming book, I trace this type of thinking back to its roots in 18th century Europe and 19th century America. It is fascinating. Thoughts were considered “things” with a mystical ability to “attract” events or occurrences. The movement was called New Thought and it arose in distinctly occultic and mystical subcultures.
Far from Christian, it was an eclectic mix of beliefs from spiritism, mysticism, Transcendentalism, Eastern religions, and a little bit of Christianity too. It morphed into the whole 20th century “power of positive thinking” movement and changed our culture. We have all been influenced by it.
My book entitled Positively Powerless, How a Forgotten Movement Undermined Christianity should be in print by the end of the year with the assistance of Westbow Press.
Update: More about my book here. To be released in January 2016. Click on the cover to see it enlarged and read the back cover description.
**Update, 1/08/2016, Available on amazon.**