Many still discuss the popular book “The Secret” which promotes a fix to all life’s problems through one’s thoughts and the “Law of Attraction.” What’s the problem with thinking positive? Be careful what you think. ♦
For many people, even believers in Jesus, the value of our creative minds, thoughts and words are profound and powerful enough to direct and dramatically affect the real world in which we live. “Thoughts become things,” says Mike Dooley, contributing author of The Secret. According to The Secret, an ongoing best-selling book, a force exists in the universe that causes thoughts about things to attract the things themselves. Thus, the book holds, we live in a world where bad thoughts can impact us. Conversely, thoughts of faithful expectation will attract, even create, the objects of our desire.
In its heyday when published in 2006, this book with its age-old process for attaining anything and everything one desires, attracted a frenzied following including high-end media figures and celebrities. While the hoopla has died down, the topic of our thought focus and personal power is still hot and controversial, and often gets convoluted with Christianity.
In reality, the central teachings of The Secret are tied to a pagan worldview and quite unbiblical. Occult movements such as New Age and neo-pagan witchcraft have long held that the power to create one’s reality lies within oneself and that we can use creative visualization to speak, think, or even feel things into existence. Of course, Biblical scripture begins in Genesis 1 establishing that transcendent God alone created and creates all things.
Beyond this, The Secret teaches that everything is God and God is everything (pantheism). Lead author, Rhonda Byrne, writes “If everything is the One Universal Mind, and the whole of it exists everywhere, then it is all in You!” However the Bible teaches in Genesis 1, John 1 and Colossians 1 that we are all made in the image of God, and that Jesus the Messiah is the only true Incarnation of God.
Hey, What’s Wrong with Thinking Positive?
Additionally, The Secret teaches that our dominant positive thoughts actually attract the things we want and “you can bring it into your life.” So what’s wrong with positive thoughts? Actually nothing. Thinking positive is good – we should do it all the time. Better to think positive and seek solutions than negative and complain about circumstances. But our minds and thoughts delve into the spiritual realm, and Scripture warns us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12) (See 6/29 post Living in Spiritual Warfare.) In stark contrast, the Bible teaches us to “be not conformed to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing your mind…[then] you are able to discern what is God’s good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2) Note His will, not our own. And Paul is speaking specifically about the Bible’s God of Abraham, not some esoteric universal force.
A True Secret Revealed
There are two stories in Matthew 13 where Jesus tells his disciples about the kingdom of God. In one he likens it to a treasure found in a field; in the other to a pearl of great value.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. (Matthew 13:44)
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:45-46)
In both these parables the central teaching is the incomparable value of the gospel, which will cause a man to give up everything he has that he may possess the greatest of all. Another interpretation is that the discoverer is Christ Himself who sacrificed all that He had in order to purchase the treasure of His church. Either way, the message from Christ is of a mystery revealed, now exposed and acquired at great cost.
Be Not Deceived
The secular world can offer false hope and counterfeit philosophies that tickle the ears and senses but are in direct opposition to the Word of God and Biblical truth. Many fall prey to dark but well packaged pablum. Focus the mind, your heart, and soul on the one true thing of incomparable value, Christ alone, the reality that is everlasting and dependable.
Do you know the real secret?
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:12-13