Oprah is promoting a book and a philosophy that is called “the secret” but it is no secret at all. The idea is that whatever a person thinks and focuses on, that will become true in their lives. If you think positive, positive things will happen. If not, you could get sick, become poor, even die.
This supposedly new philosophy is similar to psycho-cybernetics, a notion that my husband used to believe before we got married. It’s something like ‘the power of positive thinking’ promoted by a church leader a few years before that. But it isn’t the change of name or the different twist that makes this notion not a secret; it is the fact that the human heart has always wanted this much control over their own lives.
I normally do not watch Oprah’s show but happened to catch the first one promoting this idea. A Christian woman from the audience expressed her concerns, and was told that all great Bible leaders thought this way. I was so indignant that I wanted to call the show and tell them how wrong they were. If this so-called “power of attraction” was true, then the only Person who never sinned or thought a bad thought would not have “attracted violence” and been killed at the hands of those who hated Him!
The minds of men do not control the world. The Bible makes that totally clear. Yes, we are supposed to think rightly, have pure thoughts, and so on, but even that we cannot do unless empowered by the Holy Spirit. We are full of selfishness, and determined to go our own way and live our own lives without the help of God, and this so-called ‘secret’ is just another way of doing it.
Christians do have a secret though. We have a ‘hidden’ ability to bear spiritual fruit and to be effective in the world, but it is not through the power of our minds. God gives us the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us. That power is available, but not at our command, and not when we feel or want to be strong and invincible. It is only there when we are weak and unable, humbly and totally depending on the Lord. Our strength is “perfected in weakness” not in positive thinking. That is an amazing secret, and not at all easy to live out.
2 Corinthians 4 call the Holy Spirit a treasure, and says, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
The problem is the earthen vessel. Christians fight that tendency to do it ourselves, to live without humble dependence on God, to be our own persons. But 2 Corinthians 4 goes on to tell how that treasure is revealed or demonstrated in us. He says, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
There is no mention that we live powerful Christian lives through determination, or focusing on the desired results, or through our own strength. The life of Christ stays hidden when we try that. It only shines through us when we “die” to self-effort and yield to God, just as Jesus did when He was taken to the cross at the hands of sinful men. While His death and resurrection have far larger ramifications, they also picture how we must live—dying to all human wisdom and self-effort. That ‘death’ gets us out of the way so God can manifest the life of His son in our human bodies, our earthen vessels.
Human beings have always wanted power. It goes back to Eden when Satan tempted Eve with the idea that she could be “like God” if she ate the forbidden fruit. “The secret” is the same old line: “You can control your life (be like God) without having to rely on God. Just buy the book, do what it says, and blah, blah, blah.”
The god of this age is mentioned earlier in this passage from 2 Corinthians. It says that he blinds the minds of those who do not believe in Christ, preventing “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” from shining on them so they cannot understand and believe the truth. Other Scripture says that when so blinded, these folks will not only fail to turn to God, they will easily be duped by false teaching, falling for lies and missing the truth.
As far as ‘the secret’ goes, it is a secret only to those who do not know the Word of God. To us who do, it is just another spin on the same old baloney that Satan has been trying to feed us for thousands of years. Phooey!