Joel Osteen has been accused of presenting a “Gospel Lite” message. He actually takes that as a compliment. Pastor Osteen says that his full intent is to present the Gospel in as attractive a package as possible and to appeal to as wide an audience as possible in order to present Jesus to as many people as possible. Joel’s newest book, Every Day a Friday, is right down the center of Joel’s audience base. In this book Pastor Osteen points out that surveys show that the happiest day of the week is Friday because people are anticipating the weekend. With the right frame of mind, he says, every day can be a Friday happiness-wise for the follower of God.
Every Day a Friday is a quick and approachable read. It is filled with advice on how to live a more fulfilled and happier life by simply applying the principles found in God’s Word and using the common sense that your mama taught you about how to get along with others. None of what Joel talks about in this book is profound, yet he presents principles that seem to get lost in the very day crunch of life. This book is a good reminder for us to live closer to what God intends for us, rather than living under the oppression of our modern lifestyle. From Scripture and his life experience, Pastor Osteen shares seven principles for happiness in this book. "Jesus talked about everyday life, not just doctrine but how do we live, how do we forgive. How do we keep a good attitude when the economy is down. Joel says that, “The basic premise of the book is that, in the end, happiness is a choice.”
In one chapter, Joel talks about happiness being a choice that we make every day. Here he tells the story of John, a 92-year-old man, who is blind and a widower. John decided that it was time for him to move into the seniors’ home. On the morning of the move, a cab came to pick him up. He was waiting, dressed impeccably, his hair neatly combed and cleanly shaved. Upon arrival at the home, he waited for more than an hour before Miranda, an aide, came to show him to his new room. As he maneuvered his walker down the hallway, Miranda told him about the room, describing how the sunshine came through the window, and about the nice desk area. He kept saying, “I love it. I love it. I love it.” Miranda laughed and said, “Sir, you aren’t there yet. You haven’t seen it. Hold on a few moments and I will show it to you.” John replied, “No, you don’t have to show it to me. Whether I like my room or not does not depend on how the furniture is arranged. It depends on how my mind is arranged. Happiness is something you decide ahead of time.”
This and many other stories help illustrate Pastor Osteen’s points in Every Day a Friday. He says that when Monday morning comes, decide ahead of time that there are no Monday morning blues. Instead, chose the Monday morning dos by saying, “I do have a smile. I do have joy. I do have God’s favor. I do have victory.” Good advice for us all to follow regardless of our particular doctrinal stance.