Book Review

Author uses scripture to extol speaking positively


What’s on repeat in your internal record? When you lay down at night, and you’re at that sweet spot right before you fall into deep sleep, what does your true self have on replay?

Joel Osteen’s book The Power of I Am will help you draw attention to the words you speak. In the 269 pages, the bestselling author uses scripture to lay his argument: you eat the fruit of what you say. Osteen underscores the importance of speaking positively, because what you say shapes the course of your life. Why? Because it is a reflection of what you believe at your core.

The book, with 19 chapters with different ‘I Am’ suffixes, opens doors to narrations drawn from examples the writer admits were shared by friends and people he’s met from around the world. These chapters include, Say So, I Am Free, I Am Secure, and I Am Strong to mention but a few.

Joel, who Oprah Winfrey sits and chats with over her network’s Super Soul Sunday episodes, introduces him to her live audience as ‘the voice of hope”, saying, “Whatever follows your ‘I am’ is what comes looking for you. It’s simple. Your life becomes the way you see it.” 

For example, what do you say after I am? These are the words that appear in your mind when you’re tired and tried. Joel advises the reader to say positive affirmations like I am blessed, successful, talented, qualified, valuable... you get the gist. What are you saying about yourself, to yourself, or those around you? Internalise that.


Then catch yourself every time you use the power of speaking into your own life, by saying something positive. We all need the positivity in our lives, so invite the positives, in part by what you say and think. This is the major premise of the book The Power of I Am. 

Osteen, the New York Times bestseller, asks “to change the recording that’s playing in your mind.” Don’t go around feeling wrong on the inside. You are one of a kind, a masterpiece that cannot be replicated.

The manner in which Osteen writes is encouraging and affirming, typical of a self-help book. The book highlights the creative power of words. Yes, there is an overlapping theme with the power of attraction from the books: The Secret and The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peal. But in Osteen’s case, his interaction with Christianity offers a more detailed blend with examples from the Bible that aren’t that much of a stretch for the imagination.

The title also, a Christian term used to refer to God from the Old Testament in the Bible, did offer some bit of controversy among some readers in chat rooms. It could also be one of double meaning, and the text reveals as much.