Definition of Optimism: “An inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome”
If anyone has known me for more than an hour you know that I’m not the most optimistic person. I’ve never been a half full or half empty kinda guy, but am now more of a “this cup is not adequate to do justice to the contents”.
In the past, I didn’t get too excited about much. Nothing could live up to the elaborate expectation that I had built up in my mind. I became disappointed rather quickly. This started a terrible trend of thinking up the worst case scenario. Rarely did the worst case happen, so I was felt rather pleased with the outcome. Living life at those bi-polar extremes will never maintain sanity. You have to settle somewhere in the middle.
However, the real key to true lasting optimism is respecting, submitting and trusting (when you don’t understand) to the highest authority who has written His law on the hearts of us all. You thought it was your parents and were fooled by some educators, mentors, managers and other authority figures. Looking back and seeing all the betrayal, rejection, lost jobs, wanting something and being taught patience, and some good stuff too, I can see that it was all pieced together perfectly. It never seems that way at the time, because even Jesus told his disciples that they will be killed for his namesake, but they will never be harmed (Luke 21:18). Seems like a contradiction, but remember Jesus said that men can kill the body, but only one can throw you into hell (Luke 12:4-5).
Learning that God chose me before the foundations of the world (Romans 8:25-39) and will never let anyone snatch me out of his hand (John 10:29) while sanctifying and preserving me until glorification is the ultimate reason to be optimistic. It comes back to the cup being inadequate, because it’s what’s in the cup that matters. I thank God for His unmerited favor and that He constantly fills up my cracked leaky cup with a fresh and perfectly brewed batch of grace everyday.
It really bothers me when people, say you shouldn’t judge and then point to Matthew 7
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye”
Most stop reading there to put Jesus in their corner. Who better to use than Jesus right? You have to keep reading the rest of the passage to pick up the full meaning of what Jesus was trying to communicate.
“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”
Jesus calls us to judge righteously, not hypocritically. Of course this is really only meant for Christians. The last part of that verse makes it clear, judging someone who has no clue (or doesn’t care), is useless.