Half-Empty or Half-Full?

Yael Eckstein  |  April 12, 2023

An empty glass sitting on a ledge with a lit up city behind it.

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” — Exodus 20:2

Through sundown on April 13, my family and I will join Jews around the world in celebrating the most important event in Jewish history — the Exodus and redemption of the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt. These devotions were prepared for you in advance to help you discover the many lessons in faith Passover has for you.

Are you a pessimist or an optimist?

I used to think that the answer to this question was determined by how a person was born. Some people are naturally positive about life, while others tend to take a more negative approach. But what I’ve come to realize is that very few people wake up in the morning, every morning and say, “This is going to be a fantastic day!”

We all have busy schedules, challenges, and plenty of “what if’s” packed into our days. What I have learned is that optimism is a decision – not an emotion. And it’s a decision that I have learned to make daily. Every morning when I get up, I thank God for the gift of another day, and then I make the decision to have a positive attitude that day.

Half-empty or Half-full?

Remember the first commandment in its entirety? “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2-3). Read those verses one more time, slowly, aloud. Think about what is not said in this commandment. God does not refer to Himself as the Creator of the world, even though that might have been a more obvious choice.

Instead, He commands that we know Him as the God who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. Why? Because we are commanded to know God not just as the Creator of the world, but as the Savior of our individual lives!

We are commanded to believe in a God who hears our prayers and cares deeply for us. We are instructed to believe in a God who can and will help us out of our own personal bondage, our own trials and difficulties. So can God command us to be optimistic about life? The answer is yes. Because to believe in the God who took the Israelites out of Egypt is to believe that God can perform miracles for us, too!

So next time you a see that proverbial glass of water, don’t see it as half-empty or even as half-full. See it as filling up and believe that it will run over! As it says in Psalm 23: “my cup overflows” (v.5).

Your Turn:

How would you describe yourself? A “half-empty” sort of person, or half-full? Share your answer below!