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Optimistic - Pessimistic

Greetings All,

This week's 'thought'' comes to you from the American writer and minister, David de Forest Burrell, a popular tract writer abound the turn of the 20th century. This is from a collection of his letters -- Letters from the Dominie -- written in 1916. It addresses the problem of Christian pessimism, and then offers a dose of realism, before encouraging a hopeful optimism. I trust you will find it encouraging.

"I wish I could work a wonder in this day. Do you know what it would be? It would be to transform a certain prayer-meeting pessimist into an all-around optimist. Why is it that some folks cannot even talk with God in a cheerful, hopeful tone of voice?

Of course, the pessimist, like the poor, will always be with us... He talks politics, and we feel as if the country were going to ruin; business, and we are sure the bottom has dropped out of the industrial world; household matters, and we are convinced that every grocer and butcher is a thief; of religion, and we feel that the Church is going fast to decay and that God is in desperate straits!...

But surely if the pessimistic spirit is out of place anywhere, it is in the Church of the Living God. For no one need expect flawless perfection in the Church on earth until Christ comes again. There is here no perfect music, nor perfect sermon, nor perfect ventilation, nor perfect church community, nor even a single perfect Christian! It is the glory of the Church that, with all its faults, it is chosen and used by its Lord as the divinely appointed tool for His hand...

And we ought not to forget that optimism, as well as pessimism, is contagious. So be a "promoter" of the right sort, an enthusiast for your church. It is Christ's church; and the optimist can serve Him in it far better than the pessimist can."

The church can function well without the pessimist, but it can never function well without those whose faith sustains in them a hopeful outlook despite even the worst of times. Remember, this quote was written at the height of WWI, when things looked frighteningly dismal.

In the Bonds of Christian Service, Pastor Jeff

Dr. Jeffrey F. Evans