Monday, February 20, 2017

Half-Empty? Or Half-Full?

by Andrea Renee Cox

There's a glass sitting on a table. The water inside kisses the midpoint.


Would you consider that half-empty or half-full?

Is the glass half-empty or half-full?

There was a time when I argued with my cousins about this very thing, and I kept insisting that the glass was half-empty.

Half-empty?


Why was I so insistent upon that?




I remember being stopped cold with that thought. Why was I insisting that there was no way the glass could be half-full?

Even though I was only about twelve or thirteen years old, I examined my frame of mind in those next few seconds. I thought that was something I would learn once I was older, but here I was getting a lesson in the art of growing up right there on the arm of the couch.

When one of my cousins asked me why I couldn't see that it was a half-full glass, I asked God the same thing. Why couldn't I see it that way? Why did I have to be a pessimist?

In that moment, I made a decision.


I didn't want to be a pessimist anymore.

Right there in the living room, I asked God to help me overcome my negative outlook on life and to teach me how to see the glass as half-full.

I knew the journey would be tough, but it was certainly going to be worth it.

What I didn't know was that God was going to take my request and upgrade it. That's just like Him (He loves to bless us above and beyond what we ask or imagine; see Ephesians 3:20), but I didn't realize it at the time. (Remember, I was only twelve or thirteen then.)

Over the next many months and multiple years, I worked hard to follow the guidance of my heavenly Father as He led me into a positive mindset. It was amazing to realize one day that my thoughts throughout the week had been mostly positive. That was a definite change from my former train of thought. And I liked this change.

I've been thanking God for it ever since.


But He didn't stop there.

Like I mentioned a little earlier, God upgraded my request. How? Well, not only did He help me see the glass as half-full, but He also created a spirit of encouragement within me. I'm not even sure when it happened exactly, but somewhere through the learning of positivity, I also became a voice of encouragement for those around me.

Whether in person or online, my friends have often told me in recent years that I must have the gift of encouragement or that I have encouraged them in their journeys. This is always a delight for me to hear, but not because of anything I've ever done. It's a pure reflection of God's grace in my life. God's work in my heart and mind has paid off already, and I have a feeling there is much more to come. May the Lord God Almighty be praised and receive all the glory, because it is only because of Him that I see the glass half-full... and help others to see it that way too.



Now it's YOUR turn:

Is the glass half-empty or half-full?
Why do you see it that way?

How has God changed your perspective on things?

In what ways have you been encouraged by someone else?

How do you encourage other people?



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2 comments:

  1. What a good reminder! I would definitely say the glass was half-full. In some ways I think I'm an optimist in my head, but a pessimist outwardly. I've been asking the Lord to change this as I'd like to be more uplifting to others. To encourage someone else I like to DO something because I don't always know what to say when someone is discouraged...so if my mom is struggling with something, I'll cook supper for her or do extra cleaning around the house.

    I've been blessed in so many ways. Getting a random letter in the mail from someone I haven't heard from in awhile, receiving encouragement in writing (I think of some NaNo buddies ;)), or reading a blogpost that is just what I need at that moment. Even just knowing that another believer is struggling with something similar to me encourages me that I'm not the only one!

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    1. Olivia, wow. You've really thought hard about this! I love that you're sharing part of your journey with us. Thank you!

      Optimism and encouraging others by action... I love that. That's something I've been thinking about lately: How can our way of thinking influence our actions. Thank you for the perfect example! Sometimes actions speak louder than words, so I'm sure your mom (and others) feel very loved and encouraged when you bless them with your optimism in those tangible ways.

      I am also glad that you have found great encouragement in various places and people around you. You are definitely not the only one! So many times it feels like we are... until we hear from someone else who is going through the exact same thing. Isn't it neat how God leads us to people or articles that show us that someone else has been there before? He knows how to comfort and encourage like no other.

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