Today is the final day of a week long training and it has been a long dense week of data and learning and yet it feels so short.
I am always aware of getting high in retreats and in this case, training events that I am on the lookout of any withdrawal symptoms.
My mind is in full whirr in comparing Gallup strengths positive psychology outlook with prosperity theology. I wasn't too comfortable with the usage of the "name it, claim it and aim it" phrase in the training over the week as a way to own the strengths and I realised I have not actively thought of, say or use the phrase in the any of the group activities that we have had.
The "name it and claim it" phrases is of course used different in the prosperity theology movement. According to this write-up by Tim Stewart, "the term originated as broadcast radio slang in the 1950s. But it wasn’t until the late 1970s that people began to apply this catchy catchphrase to the increasingly popular prosperity gospel movement...the term initially seems to have had a neutral connotation, and even something of a tongue-in-cheek playful connotation—after all, the term originally meant a radio game show. But over time, as vocal criticism of the prosperity gospel has mounted, the term name it and claim it has taken on irreparably derogatory connotations, and the term is mostly used by folks who are critical or dismissive of prosperity gospel teachings."
While it is a suitable phrase to be used in the way and methodology of realising the Gallup strengths in individuals, I wonder how it originated for them. And it is hard not to admit that their methodology and approach by way of positive psychology is in a way quite similar to prosperity gospel, with a minimization of sin and the disregard for the fallen state of humanity.
After all, we are all no good in our innermost being: “No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” (Romans 3:10-12, NLT)
Of course I would not be surprised if this ignites an anger or repudiation from some people. It goes against their very thought and belief. They believe in the intrinsic good of humankind. But just look at history, and you will see how far from good humanity is.
Only Jesus is the perfect man that gave us His life, so that only when we acknowledge our brokenness and fallen state and embrace His perfection, will we be perfect alas.