Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full?-Day 10

We are on Day 10 of our 30 Day-Negativity Fast and Gratitude Feast. Is the glass half empty or half full? This age old rhetorical phrase has been used as a tool to express how different people have different perspectives on the same circumstance. Traditionally, the optimist sees the glass as half full while the pessimist sees it as half empty.
As we continue on this journey recognize that there are at least two ways to view every circumstance. Give yourself permission to choose joy. The reason I said, "give yourself permission" is because we all grow up with a natural default. Some were raised around complaining, worrying and negative people so your natural inclination is to find something to complain about. Others were raised around optimistic, thankful, and encouraging people that look for the good in most situations. If your natural default is negative from this day forward give yourself permission to choose to think, talk, and act differently.
There is a story in the Bible found in Ezra 3:10-13, where the foundation of the temple of the Lord was rebuilt after many years of having no place to worship. There were a host of singers, trumpets, and cymbals that made for a huge celebration. Amongst all of the celebratory noise, that could be heard for miles, were also a mixture of cries and laments.
Ezr 3:12,13 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people's weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away.
One situation, with two polar opposite perspectives. Those that knew the empty void of not having a temple at all praised with shouts of joy. Those that were only in comparison mode which prompted criticism were weeping with a loud voice.

5 observations on choosing a joyful perspective:
  1. What God does for a former generation he may do differently in another. Both should rejoice.
  2. Having high expectations creates low appreciation. Resetting your expectations to a new reality means letting go of what was and embracing what is.
  3. Having high entitlement creates low gratitude. Whenever you feel you deserve something more than what God has provided, you will not be thankful. Gratitude begins where entitlement ends.
  4. Comparing yesterday's success can leave you with zero appreciation for current mercies in your life.
  5. Being critical can make just as much noise as rejoicing. One leaves you unfulfilled the other brings satisfaction.
Sometimes it doesn't matter if the glass is half empty or half full, but being grateful that you have a cup of water.
Join in as we fast from negative words for 30 days. I wrote 15 viable reasons to join this campaign in a previous post. Entire churches are joining, small groups, corporate offices, classrooms, families, teams, etc. are all joining in. This campaign will change your life!
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