Optimist or Pessimist?
This article was originally published as a part of the series titled “Just A Thought”
Have you been confused about whether to be an optimist or a pessimist right now? It’s not easy to watch the television and know what to think, is it? Are things going to get worse, or are they going to get better? Danish writer Soren Kierkegaard said, “The wisdom of the years is confusing.” True enough.
Let me share a thought that has been helpful to me over the past few days. I think we can draw a distinction between the circumstantial and the spiritual.
Some Christians will legitimately respond to these tragedies by becoming more pessimistic about the world, the economy, or our safety. As NBA Coach Chuck Daly said, “A pessimist is an optimist with experience.” Others will see the day of the Lord hastened and be more optimistic about what’s to come. Let me just say it: It’s okay to be down and it’s okay to feel optimistic. Nothing in the Bible demands that you be an optimist or a pessimist about this current situation. No single “circumstantial” response fits all.
Spiritually, it’s a different story. As Christians, our present circumstances don’t tell the whole story. Kierkegaard went on to say, “Only the wisdom of eternity is edifying.” As Christians we have every reason to be spiritual optimists about the future: We know how this is going to end, we know Who is going to win, and we are on the right side. Edifying indeed.
© 2002 Patrick M. Morley. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for any non-commercial use with proper attribution.