Is Your Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty?

Encouragement for Your Heart and Mind from Pastor David Staff

Surely, you’ve heard this expression.  Maybe you’ve used it to describe someone you know.

She’s a glass-half-empty person.”  Or, “Well, if that isn’t a glass half-full outlook!

There are at least 2 ways to describe a clear drinking glass of water that is filled to the mid-point.  Is it half-empty?  Or half-full?
The descriptor “glass half-empty” is deemed pessimistic.  Rather than focusing on what is in the glass, the viewpoint is about what isn’t in the glass.  The view is about what is missing, and there is an accompanying tinge of complaint.  Like, “Well, why didn’t the waiter fill it up all the way!” Rather than being thankful, the observer is grumbling about what is not there.

Conversely, should someone say, “Oh look!  That glass is half-full,” the tone is brighter.  The person chooses the positive label “full” instead of empty.  One senses a hopefulness, even a gratitude.  She sees the silver lining around the dark cloud, presence rather than absence, provision rather than lack.

I have a delightful book in my library that was published in one volume but in two ways.  Turn the book one way, and the front cover is black, with the gray words on the front, “The Pessimist’s Handbook.”  Flip the book over and the cover becomes white, “The Optimist’s Handbook.”  Depending on your bent, you can read it either way.

Oscar Wilde remarked that “a pessimist is somebody who complains about the noise when opportunity knocks.” ☹  Emily Strawn (age 5) counters with “An optimist is someone who expects all the rayons to be in the box.” 😊

May I ask you?  Which do you tend to be?  Even more important, which would the Holy Spirit have us be?


One more question.  If you were arrested today and incarcerated, would your glass be half-empty or half-full?
Before you answer, listen to Paul.
Philippians 1:12 And I want you to know this, dear brothers: Everything that has happened to me here (in Rome) has been a great boost in getting out the Good News concerning Christ. 13 For everyone around here, including all the soldiers over at the barracks, knows that I am in chains simply because I am a Christian. 14 And because of my imprisonment, many of the Christians here seem to have lost their fear of chains! Somehow my patience has encouraged them, and they have become more and more bold in telling others about Christ.

15 Some, of course, are preaching the Good News because they are jealous of the way God has used me. They want reputations as fearless preachers! But others have purer motives, 16-17 preaching because they love me, for they know that the Lord has brought me here to use me to defend the Truth. And some preach to make me jealous, thinking that their success will add to my sorrows here in jail! 18 But whatever their motive for doing it, the fact remains that the Good News about Christ is being preached, and I am glad.
Sounds like a glass half-full outlook to me.

What about your circumstances, whatever they might be?  Are you seeing your situation in life as an opportunity for Christ to be shared with others?

Come Sunday as we explore this compelling section of Scripture.  And, be ready to have your cup filled to overflowing by God’s Spirit.
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