I love Mondays. You know why? Mondays are full of hope. But, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not one of those “think positive and everything will be great” manipulators. All that positive-thinking, believe-you-can-do-anything optimism is self-destructive, deceptive, and worst of all, it’s anti-Christian. Foolish optimism doesn’t make me love Mondays.
I love Mondays because I’m hopeful not optimistic. Did you know there’s a Grand Canyon difference between being optimistic and being hopeful. From a biblical perspective, those two terms are fundamentally contradictory.
Being optimistic is viewing my future through the lenses of my own mind alone. If I were merely optimistic, I would depend on my own attitude, my mind, my view, and my abilities to make things happen. I would believe that my positive thinking and hard work could heal broken relationships, make me successful, bring world peace, overcome addictions, and accomplish anything else I want. Sounds crazy when it’s said plainly, doesn’t it?
I’m not optimistic. I’m hopeful. Being hopeful is seeing my future through the mind of Christ as he speaks to me through his indwelling presence. Being hopeful is looking at my world and my week as an opportunity to discover what Jesus has in mind for me. It’s about following, trusting, depending on my all-powerful, all-loving Savior no matter what happens.
There’s no peace for the optimist. Optimists live in constant fear of their own inabilities. We hopeful Christians find constant peace by living in the present and walking into the future holding our Savior’s hand every step of the way.
John D. Beckett was Chairman of the Board and CEO of Beckett Corporation, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of heating systems when he wrote the popular book, Loving Monday: Succeeding in Business Without Selling Your Soul. At a spiritual retreat, I was moved by John’s testimony when he explained how his job, daily life, and relationship with God were completely turned around.
Before John’s worldview changed, he said he felt like most people he knew. He looked forward to the weekends and dreaded Mondays. Every Monday he returned to work and was anxious about the uncertainty of every part of his life. But when he turned from a self-dependent life to a Christ-centered life, everything changed. His hope rested in his ever-present, all-loving-leader, Jesus. He was finally at peace about everything.
The words of Paul became the foundation for his way of seeing his week, “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” Colossians 1:27.
When I found Jesus was my hope and decided that every week was an opportunity to see what he was doing with my life, I started loving Monday, too. Will you join me in being hopeful and not merely optimistic?
Have a great and hopeful week.