Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Blog Commendation: Surprised by Optimism

Times are bad.  People are evil.  The government is corrupt.  Hopelessness abounds.  The world is falling apart.  People will always fail you.    But on the other hand, won't they somehow do what's right?   Isn't there a spark of goodness in every man?  Can't we hope that good men will prevail eventually over evil?  Should we place our hope in man?

My brother in Christ and friend, John, is writing to counter some of this very thinking.  I've come to respect John's words, and appreciate the insight God is granting him for the good of the body of Christ.   And because of this, I'm very excited to become a new follower of his blog, "Surprised by Optimism."  John openly and honestly writes:

"My reason for starting this blog is that I know the crippling power of cynicism, and I want to help others avoid it. Now, it’s not that I always walk around with a scowl on my face, as the song “He’s a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” plays ominously in the background. Instead, as Paul Miller explains in his book A Praying Life, my cynicism begins with my false assurance that “anything is possible”. However, optimism rooted in the goodness of people collapses when it confronts the darker side of life, such as disappointed expectations or downright evil in people (including myself). From the signs I see in our culture, I think that this type of cynicism is becoming a widespread problem."   

After reading John's words, I was made to reflect on my own cynicism.   Am I secretly and unwares cynical?   Admittedly this sin can blindside me unawares.  Is there hope for us to overcome this kind of cyncism?   John, again, writes in words meant to bring hope:

"However, there is a way out of this quiet cynicism. Rather than withdrawing into this negative spirit, we need an optimism that is founded on something more dependable than the goodness of people. We all know deep down that people, including ourselves, aren’t good. Nevertheless, the famous words of Psalm 23 hold the key: God is willing to be our Good Shepherd who won’t disappoint. Jesus proved this willingness when he came to earth to pay the penalty of our corrupted goodness by dying on the cross. Now we have the opportunity to have hope, and even the kind of fun that lasts! There is so much hope and joy to be found in God, and I’d love if you would join me in this journey of learning to be optimistic through Him!"

ht:  Unto-Him-We-Live 
ps:  Please be sure to read the comments on John's new blog seeing especially that from Father to Son and learn from grace.


WhiteStone said...

Thanks, Scott. I read John's post yesterday but at your mention, went back to read it yet again. It was a blessing to me to do so.

Scott said...

Praise the Lord, Whitestone, I'm glad you said that. I've been reminded of John's article already to do with a cynical thought, or cynical joke. Checking out at the Restaurant this morning the owner, I commented to the owner, "It's a New Year" and she replied how she was hoping this would be a good one. I remarked to her but also for myself to hear, "We must not trust in the goodness of man but trust in the goodness of God."