A Half Full Faith

Optimism, Pessimism, Philippians 4:4-8
Do you think the glass is half empty or half full? I admit I’m often pessimistic, not a godly quality. And according to some studies, it’s also not a healthy quality.

“Since 1986, University of Kentucky scientist David Snowdon has been studying 678 School Sisters [nuns]--painstakingly researching their personal and medical histories, testing them for cognitive function and even dissecting their brains after death.”*

One finding of Snowdon’s “Nun Study” is this: nuns who express positive emotions are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who express negative emotions. Pessimism isn’t healthy for our minds. Joy is!

In Philippians 4, Paul also makes this point:

  • “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (4:4)
  • “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation…with thanksgiving present your requests to God.” (4:6)
  • “whatever is true…noble…right…pure…lovely…admirable …think about such things” (4:8) 
Life involves difficulties and suffering (John 16:33). Optimism comes from inner joy. And that inner joy is good for our minds!
copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2011
* Time Magazine, the Nun Study, May 14, 2001

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  1. I'm the optimist who is sure everything will turn out okay. My husband it the total opposite so we balance each other out. I wonder if it has to do with heredity? My mother is an optimist, too.

    1. Unfortunately, I'm not able to cite the source, but I do remember reading only about a month ago, that they do believe genes have something to do with one's disposition.

  2. isn't it that same passage in philippians that also talks about the peace that passes understanding will guard our hearts and minds?!!!

    1. It is! It all fits together, doesn't it. Bless you, Gail


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