“I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.” ~ (anon), quoted by funny guy William “Bill” Carlson on Facebook
Ever observed someone who is wrapped up in the negative? The glass is always half empty. I (Dawn) actually saw a glass “Pessimist’s Mug” online (from Despair Laboratories™) that featured a half-way marker etched in the glass. Under the line were the words “This glass is now half-empty” to remind all avowed pessimists that life can indeed get worse.
For the pessimist, life is always a struggle. Perhaps he or she is used to that slant on life, and can’t imagine another way to live. Oscar Wilde once defined “Pessimist” as “One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.” Pessimism can also spiral into depression.
American journalist and author Norman Cousins suffered a deteriorating physical condition, but he returned to health, in part, through the power of humor (watching Marx Brothers movies). Cousins once said, “No one really knows enough to be a pessimist.”
As I thought about that in terms of the Christian life, I had to say, “Amen!”
We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. We don’t know if a war will start somewhere, or a loved one will die. We don’t know when or how God might answer our prayers. We don’t know a lot of things. We don’t even know if we’ll draw another breath!
We can choose to be negative about all of these things, or we can think biblically. We can act on faith, trusting God to care for us and answer our petitions. We can choose spiritual attitudes like contentment and joy. We can live in hope and anticipation of how God will work. We can observe what’s happening in the world, but know that God is still on the throne (and He wins in the end)!
So, as Christians, how do we combat pessimism ~ if that’s our problem? Continue reading