“The Power of Thank You” by Meyer

Book Review: The Power of Thank You by Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer’s new book The Power of Thank You: Discover the Joy of Gratitude is an easy read filled with practical steps to help you live a more intentionally grateful life.


I cringed. More than once. 😖

That said, The Power of Thank You is a timely reminder that we can always find something to be thankful for—even during a global pandemic.

As a companion to the book, the author has simultaneously released the My Thank You Journal diary—filled with blank lined pages featuring mini-excerpts from the book and Bible verses about gratitude, thankfulness, and encouragement.

Together, the book, journal, and a nice pen would make a lovely gift for the Joyce Meyer fan in your life.

The Power of Thank You

Part memoir, part self-help manual, The Power of Thank You, is packed with down-to-earth advice for cultivating a holistic lifestyle of gratitude.

The book is written in a conversational tone with lots of first-person references and recollections. Reading it, you’re likely to feel as if Joyce Meyer, herself, is sitting right across the table from you at your favorite coffee shop sharing her latest insights about “God-winks,” thankfulness, and encouragement while you quietly sip your caramel macchiato.

Image of thanks postcard and latte.

The first chapter forms the foundation for the entire book. Based her strong conviction that “Thankfulness Is God’s Will,” the author pulls powerful stories from her personal life, the Bible, and a variety of websites to paint a picture of what life could look like if one were to live according to the Apostle Paul’s admonition to the Christians in Thessaloniki:

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

The book is structured like a mind map with each branch (chapter) representing a specific aspect of gratitude. Chapter topics range from contentment and humility to complaints and spiritual warfare.

But it’s more than that.

Meyer’s advice is practical and prescriptive—based as much on her personal experience as Scripture. She offers numerous tips and suggestions which methodically move the reader from internal perception and reflection to external awareness and action.

Action flowing freely from a grateful heart.

Photo of person holding white sign with black letters. Sign says GRATEFUL.

A masterful storyteller, Meyer explains the ripple effects of random acts of gratitude and illustrates how one simple action can change a person’s life. Literally.

The Power of Thank You takes the reader on a journey from understanding the importance of gratitude and practicing spiritual thanksgiving to cultivating a generous lifestyle and wielding gratitude as a weapon.

Cringey Parts

As much as I’d like to recommend this book with no caveats, I cannot. Some of the passages made me cringe because of the following reasons: (1) lingering tidbits of the prosperity gospel, (2) unchecked ableism, and (3) no trigger warnings.

Cringe #1: Prosperity Gospel

First, name it/claim it. Although the author has moved away from this false teaching (see the 2019 article in Relevant Magazine for more details), tidbits of prosperity gospel still found their way onto the page. On more than one occasion she explains how one’s thoughts control what God will and will not do.

If you are thankful for what you have, God is more inclined to give you what you are asking for. One time I was asking God for something, and as He spoke to my heart a thought came to me: Why should I give you more if you are complaining about what you already have?

Page 47

The above assertion is more parental than biblical, like something a mom would tell her ungrateful child. But God isn’t like us. God doesn’t withhold blessings because our attitude sucks, and neither does He shower us with them simply because we’ve got a good attitude. You can learn more about how it’s okay to complain to God here.

Cringe #2: Ableist Tendencies

Second—and I write this with great trepidation because I’m calling out a woman who has an international ministry and has improved the lives of thousands and thousands of humans—It’s obvious to me that the author has ableist tendencies.

Woman in orange top sitting on black wheelchair. She's looking into her laptop and waving hello.

What, you ask, is ableism? According to AccessLiving.org:

Ableism is the discrimination of and social prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief that typical abilities are superior. At its heart, ableism is rooted in the assumption that disabled people require ‘fixing’ and defines people by their disability. Like racism and sexism, ableism classifies entire groups of people as ‘less than,’ and includes harmful stereotypes, misconceptions, and generalizations of people with disabilities.

Meyer assumes her readers are healthy and able-bodied. It’s an ableist worldview, and since I’m learning about belonging and inclusion, I’ve become more aware of what it looks like. Here’s one example of ableism in this book:

I think we would all be surprised by our blessings if we would count them—and we would be healthier and happier. Think about this: Were you thankful this morning that you could jump out of bed and walk to the bathroom without needing assistance or a walker to get there? If breathing is something you do regularly without any effort, have you thought of what a blessing it is? All we need to do is watch someone who has a severe case of emphysema and has to carry an oxygen tank at all times, and we will be very thankful for the breath we usually take for granted.

Page 54

I know her heart is in the right place, but framing her argument like this shows an ableist bias. We all need to be aware of our hidden biases and our tendency to “other” people who are different than us. As followers of Jesus, part of our mission is to stop “othering” and promote belonging. You can learn more about ableism here.

Cringe #3: No Trigger Warnings

Joyce Meyer has done a lot of work to come to terms with what she suffered as a child. If the reader is unaware of the author’s horrific background, the matter-of-factness with which it’s addressed could trigger traumatic memories.

There were no trigger warnings anywhere in the book, and some of the personal stories were shocking and detailed enough to make me wonder why. Although there’s a huge online debate about whether or not books should contain content warnings, and while readers who know the author’s background won’t find it shocking, those who are unfamiliar would definitely benefit from a little notice.

Caitlin Berve, CEO of Ignited Ink Writing, explains why trigger warnings matter in this brief video:

If you’re still reading this review, then consider this a trigger warning for the book. The stories Meyer shares are not graphic, but they are traumatic and could trigger an emotional response in readers who’ve lived through something similar.

Final Thoughts

In The Power of Thank You: Discover the Joy of Gratitude, you’ll be inspired to cultivate more gratitude in your life, motivated to mine thankfulness even out of the toughest circumstances, and equipped to encourage others who will benefit from your thoughtfulness. I recommend this book with the above caveats.

But Wait. There’s More!

As I mentioned above, the My Thank You Journal was created to accompany the book. The intent is for the reader to use it daily as a place to capture thankful thoughts, record blessings and “God-winks,” and keep track of prayer requests and praises.

Each page is beautifully laid out with a floral border and either a Bible verse or a quote from the book, and there is plenty of space for you to journal or draw. According to the listing on Amazon.com, the journal contains 160 lined pages (6.25″ x 8.3″); however, the pages are not numbered. They are thick, though, so your pen should not bleed through. 🙌

I suggest you number the pages as you go and reserve aside a couple pages at the back of the book to create your own index of special entries for quick reference. While the journal makes a perfect companion to the book, it’s also perfectly beautiful on its own. I highly recommend the My Thank You Journal with or without the book it’s based on.

Photo credits: 
Thanks postcard & latte. Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash.
Person holding sign that says "Gratitude." Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.
Woman in Orange Top Sitting on Black Wheelchair. Photo by Marcus Aurelius on Pexels.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of the book mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. I only recommend books I've read cover to cover and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

“All Things Lovely” by Johnson

Book Review: All Things Lovely by Jenn Johnson

This book less about pretty things (although it’s jam-packed with them) and more about cultivating a close relationship with God so you can listen and hear His voice. AND it’s not written from the perspective of someone who’s achieved perfection. It’s written by a woman who is transparent about her own struggles (past, present, and future) and her utter reliance on the Holy Spirit’s direction in her life.

Continue reading

“The Self-Evolved Leader” by McKeown

Book Review: The Self-Evolved Leader by Dave McKeown

Brené Brown. Stephen Covey. Jim Loehr. Cal Newport. Carol Dweck. Simon Sinek. Michael Hyatt. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Henry Cloud. Whether they have opened your eyes to view vulnerability as courage, motivated you to find your why, or advocated for you to set clear boundaries with others, each of these best-selling authors and speakers has shifted the way leaders think about and approach leadership.

Imagine if there were ONE book where themes of vulnerability, authenticity, mindset, purpose, clarity, communication, and boundaries all came together to paint a complete portrait of an effective and influential twenty-first century leader. Would you be interested?

Enter The Self-Evolved Leader: Elevate Your Focus and Develop Your People in a World That Refuses to Slow Down by Dave McKeown. In this single volume, the principles taught by each of the aforementioned authors has been distilled and synthesized into a coherent and comprehensive model for personal leadership development and team management.

The Self-Evolved Leader is a “How to Lead” manual for managers and directors in charge of teams (size doesn’t matter).

It is a GPS for people on a mission to develop their own leadership abilities whether they are leading a team or aspire to do so. Maybe they are lifelong learners like me and can’t get enough of leadership theory, or maybe they are suddenly thrust into a leadership position and feel unequal to the task ahead of them, or maybe they were never taught healthy leadership principles from their senior staff.

McKeown takes readers through a step-by-step process to discover “their authentic leadership calling, create a vision for a better world, and build the framework and structure needed to chart the course (p. 2).” And the framework and structure are legit.

The Self-Evolved Leader includes an actual  90-day plan to begin implementing what you’ve learned. He literally tells you what to do each day so that by the time you’re done with the 90-days, you will have set in place a roadmap for yourself and your team that you repeat each quarter.

McKeown rejects the industrial era model of teamwork (“a cog in a well-oiled machine”) and instead posits that teams in the twenty-first century function more like cells in organisms.

“The interactions are more amorphous, the nature of work is more prone to change, and the individuals are connected by more than the mere interlinking teeth of a cog or spoke. There’s a stronger degree of interdependence of connection and of symbiosis. Each person is uniquely individual and at the same time part of the whole. Each person is connected by more than the pursuit of a common goal; they are connected by a sense of shared humanity.”  

(p. 37)

The author’s description of a “self-evolved” leader really resonates with me because it’s exactly who I strive to be. This type of person is someone who accepts responsibility for their own growth. They demonstrate vulnerability and regularly practice empathy which strengthens their connection with the team. This leader is clear on boundaries and daily chooses to stay in their own lane. 

Smiling personal health coach sitting in an office and talking to a woman

According to McKeown, when a person adopts the self-evolved leadership approach, they will focus their activities, decisions, and interactions on helping team members achieve their goals and become the best version of themselves.

He lays out three essential elements which increase the self-evolved leader’s impact on the team: (1) creating a shared vision; (2) establishing a “pulse” and a variety of vantage points from which to assess progress; and (3) key disciplines to adopt in order to have long-lasting impact. He does this by not only suggesting what the elements are, but also by detailing HOW to implement each one. It’s like a road map for how to lead your team over the course of the next year. Literally. 

McKeown has identified eleven“key disciplines” (six micro disciplines and five core disciplines) essential for every self-evolved leader. He lays out a 90-day plan to help the reader practice what they are learning and hone their leadership skills. 

The author takes a methodological approach to explaining the five core disciplines. He describes the importance of the discipline, shares the benefits of it, and then answers the question “why is it so hard?” He then offers a proven “how to” strategy to spur you towards growth in that area. 

The Self-Evolved Leader is packed with helpful tips, strategies, and methodologies for implementation based on the latest research and best practices in leadership accepted across sectors. I highly recommend it for anyone currently leading a team and anyone interested in moving into leadership at their organization. 

If you are interested in purchasing this book based on my review, I’d appreciate it if you use my Amazon link: https://amzn.to/2U4Opn9

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Images properly licensed through Envato.