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The Character of Optimism

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Is a heartfelt confidence that everything will come out for the best.

Optimism (Proverbs 4:23; Luke 21:18; John 16:33; Romans 8:25; 28; 15:13; Colossians 3:1-4) combines hope and faith into synergy (the combination supercharges and become more than just the sum of its parts) to be positive for Christ. It is a heartfelt confidence that everything will come out for the best, no matter what happens, as Paul proclaimed. It will help us to think the best of and be positive with people and all situations, even if we are proven wrong.

Pessimism, Cynicism, Distrust, Doubt, and being Sarcastic are the opposites. These characteristics will help us see and dwell on the fact that the glass is half-empty, not that it is only half-full! We will only recognize the negative, and look for the worst in people and situations. There are times when we need to be careful and cautious, but constant negativity will get us nowhere.

Faith is the foundation and rock on which we stand. Hope is the confidence and expectation that God's promises will be fulfilled. Optimism combines the two so our faith turns into conviction and enthusiasm, and our hope turns into certainty! So, when we are filled with His Spirit and are true to the Word, we can take His call into action with passion. We will be motivated to seek training to hone our knowledge and prepare us for our call to better glorify our Lord. We will be filled with passion so we can stand longer in service for our Lord, even in times of stress and persecution. We will be motivated to seek justice and be fair.

Remember, all of the characteristics combine to form the mature Christian. Real Optimism will help us sink our roots in the awareness and knowledge of who we are in Christ, and the power of His grace. Optimism is not just a wish, an academic thought, positive or hopeful thinking, nor is it just confidence that everything will turn out all right. Rather, it is real and tangible.

With Optimism we will be able to see what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us, so we will be able to overcome any setbacks, disappointments, or suffering we may face, as the goal of being His child will outweigh all else. We will have no fear for what happens to our body when our soul is secured (Phil. 3:20-21a). Eternity is our goal, and our life here is a training ground to learn--a mere rehearsal of what is to come. When we are positive and optimistic, we will keep our interest in what is true, and seek His promises. Because Optimism puts hope into action, we will be able to be more confident that God's promises are real, true, and will come to us. That way we can have a good attitude, be filled with zeal, and keep our heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23), even when times are harsh.

As a Christian you should be optimistic. If not, you have some issues that need to be cleansed and taken care of. Christian optimists are the ones with the most impact on people (Hebrews 10:24-25, 1 Peter 3:15). Consider this. People who are optimists tend to lift others up; pessimists tend to drag others down with them! Why should I be optimistic? Because of the Hope we are given (Romans 5:1-2, Romans 5:5, Romans 15:13, 1 Corinthians 13:13)!

More verses to consider are Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 42:5; Psalm 130:5,7; Lamentations 3:25; Jeremiah 29:11; Hebrews 10:23; 1 Timothy 6:17; and 1 John 3:2-3

Is the Character of Optimism working in you?

Here is how you can find out. Take a careful look at this character and fruit of Optimism from God's most precious Word, by examining the passages below. Now ask yourself:

  1. How do I exhibit Optimism in my daily life?
  2. What can I do to develop a better attitude about being more cautious with how I come across to others?
  3. What blocks Optimism from working and being exhibited in me?
  4. How can I make Optimism function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainly and stress?

· Here are positive examples from Scripture (Num. 14:4-10; Hab. 3:17-19; Mark 14:53-62; Rom. 8:28-39; Phil. 3:10-15; Philemon 4-22)

· Here are negative examples from Scripture (Gen. 18:9-15; Num. 11:1-6; 13:25-33; John 5:2-9; 20:24-25)

Further Questions
  1. How would you define Optimism? Are you a person who is positive with your outlook? Why, or why not?
  1. When would there be an occasion to distrust a person or situation?
  1. How does being Pessimistic counteract Optimism? What is the cost to others (God, family, friends, neighbors, church, workplace, etc.) when you are a negative person?
  1. What happens to your relationship with God, with others, and with the opportunities God gives you, when you are negative?
  1. When have you been filled with Optimism the most?
  1. In what situation did you fail to be positive when you should have been?
  1. What issue is in your life that would improve with more Optimism? Are you willing to be a passionate person?
  1. Think through the steps you need to take to put Optimism into action in a specific instance, such as do you come across to others as being optimistic? If not, why not? Do you fully and passionately realize that at the end of the Book of Books, through Christ, we win! Think about how your attitude affects all that you do in relationships, work, school, family, friends, etc., then, commit yourself to seeing who you are in Christ by taking these Scriptures to heart. What can you do to improve your passion and commitment?
Character is born though struggles that take time; just as developing the ability to play a musical instrument takes practice.
© 2003, Richard J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership,
© 2007 - 2022 Institute of Church Leadership Development - All Rights Reserved.
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