At the end of my last mission trip in Costa Rica, I had the joy to meet René. He is such an optimistic person. You I am persuade that God could use him significantly if Rene remain focus on God’s Kingdom (Mathieu 6:33). Today reading during my quiet time reminds me of Rene.
The story is told of two psychologists who sought to determine whether heredity or environment decided a child’s mental outlook. So they placed a pessimistic child in a lovely room chucked-full of beautiful toys, and an optimistic child in a room filled with horse manure. Hours later the pessimistic kid was found in the corner, pouting. “Why aren’t you playing with your toys,” the psychologists inquired? “Cause soon as I do, someone will come and take them away from me!” By contrast, they discovered the optimistic child enthusiastically swimming and diving through the manure. His reason? “Man! With all this manure, there’s gotta be a pony in here somewhere!”
Naturally, we are more drawn to the optimist! Here are a few reasons why:
Optimists have great love for others, starting with family and close friends: “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us… We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children… You know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God… ” (1 Thessalonians 2:8a, 7, 11, 12a) (See 1 Corinthians 13; 16:14)
Optimists are cheerful, always seeking a favorable twist to the world around them: “Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe… ” (Philippians 2:14, 15)
Optimists love what they do, and they put all their heart into it: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (Colossians 3:23) (See 2 Chronicles 31:21; Ecclesiastes 9:10)
Optimists learn to forgive, thus minimizing the paralyzing emotions of anger, hate and selfishness: “Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?‘ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times‘” (Matthew 18:21a, 22) (See Genesis 32:1-33:17; Proverbs 19:11; Matthew 6:11, 14; 11:25; Ephesians 4:31, 32)
Optimists have can-do attitudes. They refuse to let unfavorable odds get them down: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) (1 Samuel 23:1-5; Psalm 18:29; 2 Corinthians 3:4)
Optimists are not born. They are molded by their own attitudes: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8) (See Romans 12:1, 2; Colossians 3:1-3)
Thomas Carlyle once wrote that “the block of granite which was an obstacle in the path of the weak, becomes a steppingstone in the path of the strong.” Today, by His strength let’s choose to turn our obstacles into steppingstones! After all, isn’t our future as bright as the promises of God?