Look Great, Feel Great, 12 Keys to Enjoying a Healthy Life Now by Joyce Meyer

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The thesis of this book is that if you have great health you will look great and feel great and all of this will lead to greater love and respect for yourself.

First, the good news: this is a very helpful manual on diet and exercise. Meyer takes a balanced, common sense approach. She does not follow the fads but offers advice that gels with the best in nutritional and exercise studies. She couples her advice with practical steps and suggestions for implementation. Anyone who puts into play her instructions in these areas will most likely lose weight, feel better and improve her health. In these physical matters Meyer is quite helpful. It should be noted, however, that Meyer uses no documentations for her pronouncements. Throughout she states, “studies show,” “scientists have learned,” “experts say,” but no footnote is in sight.

On the other hand, when she turns to spiritual issues it is a completely different story. It should be admitted that this work is primarily about physical, not spiritual health, but the two are not totally disparate. Occasionally Meyer turns to Scripture and when she does, she almost always abuses it (e.g. pp. xxiv, 4, 45, 77, 148). Consistently Meyer points her reader to good looks and health rather than Christ: “If I have a day when I don’t feel good physically but I go ahead and put on a nice comfortable outfit and fix my hair and face as usual, it always makes me feel better” (p. xxix). Meyer assures us that she “looks better today than I did 20 years ago” (p. 17). Then without blushing she informs her reader that she has had some cosmetic surgery done on her face (p. 18). This might have something to do with why she looks better.

Over and over the motivation given for good health and looks is to improve self-esteem and self-love (pp. xvi, xxix, xxxvii, 11, 13, 21-29, 53, 119). Prayer is turned into a tool to reduce stress and enhance peace (p. 143). Spiritually, Look Great, Feel Great consistently points to self rather than to Christ.

In this book Meyer does not devote much space to her more serious “Word of Faith” heresies, yet they show up periodically. Great health is promised: “I fully expect to live out my life in health and grace. No matter what age or condition you are, you can do the same” (p. xxiv). Meyer also records a few times when the Holy Spirit supposedly talked to her (e.g. pp. viii, 113).

Her most revealing and troubling statements (theologically) come in a subsection entitled “Think (and Speak) Your Reality into Existence” (pp. 147-149). Here we are assured that our thoughts have creative power. Later we are promised, “Whatever you think you can do” (p. 158) (emphasis mine). These are common fallacies often spouted by Word teachers as well as New Age proponents.

If a discerning reader could filter out any and all spiritual pronouncements, and zero in on the diet and exercise advice, this book could be profitable. But as it stands, I certainly could not recommend Look Great, Feel Great.

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