Half Full or Half Empty?

Every morning when I visit the "Half Bath" in our house, to sit a while, for some reason I reach for a hand-sized bottle of hand cream that lays in a basket with extra hand towels and rolls of paper, under the sink.

The hand cream in that bottle is thick and sticky and clings to surfaces with a vengeance. I could say "there is only half of the contents in that container," or I could say "there is still half of the contents available." It depends on how I view it.

I can roll that bottle around in my hands, and because of the stickiness of the contents, I can make the bottle appear as if it was completely full. It would stay that way for a while, before finally settling back to its true level, revealing the truth about the product. Someone else coming into that room fairly soon after me, could be fooled into thinking that the hand cream in that container is as you would likely find it on the shelf at the store............full.

It might seem silly to contemplate a bottle of hand cream at first, but I as I look at it, I do just that. Looking for Spiritual principles in all that I go thru, all that I see and all that I hear. There is a hope and trust in me, based on past experiences, that has taught me that our Heavenly Father, is offering us His Wisdom every day and every moment, and all I have to do is listen & observe.

Every day, it is possible to view what's going on around us as either gaining or losing, succeeding or failing, coming or going, strengthening or weakening. There may be truth in both perspectives in fact. It's not so much that viewing the bottle of hand cream as half empty is false; but rather that the way we view it, affects the way we respond to it.

One side of me might say, "I guess I'd better go to the store and buy another bottle, because this one is almost gone." Or I might say, "I've got plenty yet; this should last a while." Both perspectives might be valid.

What was bothering me about this hand cream scenario, was that I found myself flipping the bottle around every morning, to make it look full, and by the next day, it was back to being (in reality) only HALF full. No amount of "window dressing" (if I can use that term here) could permanently change the condition.

In my desire to be filled to overflowing (in fact) as is stated in the Psalms:

("Psa_23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.")

I find myself wondering if I am doing what God desires, with my view of things, and the actions I take. Like the virgins whose lamps were likely to run out of oil, they were not prepared. When I think of the container of my life as having enough to last a while, and rest on that (Selah) am I in fact, setting myself up for trouble, because I am not setting my mind and heart to the task of preparation?

On Sunday mornings at Church, I wonder how many folks are rolling the hand cream of their lives around, making it appear that they are "full" and plentiful in their walk with God; when in fact they are not, and it is only a false impression. That is an issue of honesty, isn't it. It's an issue about being "real," if you will.

My manipulations of that hand cream bottle, may give off an impression of fullness to the next person who views it, but it constantly needs to be re-manipulated, to continue that impression.

The idea of repeated refreshing is not the one being discussed here. I would agree that we should be in a constant state of desiring the refreshment of Gods Holy Spirit, on a daily basis. This is about how we view our lives with God, and what we do about it.

What is this life with God all ABOUT after all? Isn't it to love and serve Him with all that we are, in everything we do? Yes. Does it matter if we are "being" filled -vs- full?

I'm sure you would agree that we should not attempt to fool others, by trying to appear full, when we are indeed not. Being honest is of course a fundamental principle of truth. How many times we ("I") might do that, perhaps even in some seemingly justifiable viewpoint, to be a light to others in trouble (like visiting someone dying in a hospital bed, and we attempt to shine for them), when it would be better that I wept with those who weep (for example).

Each day I face a choice. Each morning when I pick up that bottle of hand cream, I ask myself...........am I going to live as though I'm half full and seeking more; or am I going to set my mind to viewing things as failing, drying up and diminishing. Lately it's been the later.

God help me, help us all, to be willing receptacles of your Holy Presence within us, by the Power of the Holy Spirit; anticipating a real Filling, sufficient for the day, so that our lives might not simply be an impression of you that is not truly valid; but that my (our) lives might be honest representations of our current condition, and that I (we) might have an honest hope of filling that is contagious to others around us, building them up, for the Glory of your Name.

Each day I face a choice. Each morning when I pick up that bottle of hand cream, I ask myself...........am I going to live as though I'm half full and seeking more; or am I going to set my mind to viewing things as failing, drying up and diminishing. Lately it's been the later.
Dear Brother!! I hear you loud and clear. If Paul were to come to our churches today and list the things that befell him (prison, scourging by the Jews 5 times, 3 times beaten with rods, shipwrecked, a day and a night lost at sea, etc.), we'd all quickly agree that he was not in God's favor. But Paul says keep your eyes on the things not seen:

2 Corinthians 4:18 (KJV)
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.​

Why would he point this out? Because of the verse before it:

2 Corinthians 4:17 (KJV)
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory;​

It's all about trust, belief, and faith in God and His abilities.

Luke 1:37 (KJV)
For with God nothing shall be impossible.​

We all know God can do anything, but the question of faith is: will He do it for me?

Emphatically I say:


Because the word of God says so:

2 Corinthians 1:20 (KJV)
For all the promises of God in him [are] yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.​

God is so emphatic about it, in this verse He says YES in both the Greek and the Hebrew: YES and AMEN! Why? So our HOPE is built up to give God the glory in others and that by our hope they believe!

1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:​

When things seem half empty, that's focusing on the world and the things seen. When things seem half full, that's focusing on the unseen things, knowing that we shall lack nothing because our Shepherd will take care of us. Since we don't live in an agricultural society, it's hard to understand that power of the words of the word of God. See, imagine you are a sheep, grazing in a grassy field. What is it focusing on, what it's doing. What's the Shepherd doing? Watching over the sheep, caring for the sheep, protecting the sheep. When He calls us to move on, if we obey, He'll protect us. If we ignore Him when He walks off with the other sheep, we could fall off a cliff, and break a leg. Even though it would be our fault, the Shepherd comes looking for and put us on His shoulders if we cry out to Him.

Joel 2:32 (KJV)
And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.​

Have faith brother, so that faith can grow into hope when the Lord moves. Remember, YOU have the power already and you need not wait on the Lord for something He's already done. God Bless!

As I read and think about all that you have said. One thing stands out to me. I can agree that we should never be plastic or fake with anyone as to what we are going through. But faith is a part of seeing and speaking the things that are unseen as opposed to those things which are the facts of the storm that the devil has brought to cause us to crumble. Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

In lots of places in the Bible it says that our words govern our lives. So if we speak what we have or already see in the natural, then that is all we will have. But if we speak what the Word of God says we have (regardless of what we see, hear, or feel), then we are speaking the truth of His vison for our lives. For instance...God told Abram that he would be the Father of many nations......and what did He do to get that Word in his mouth? He changed his name to Abraham. And to get his eyes on the promise, God showed him the stars and told him that, it was a picture of what his decendants would look like. God knew that Abraham would need a little help in his physical senses, to make the reality of His Word settled within his mind and heart. So "seeing" the stars and hearing his name being spoken quite often was the catylist that catapulted his faith to the next level, and thus earned him the honor of being called righteous by faith in God's eyes.

In our lives today, we have to have faith in God's Word. His written Word is as much a manifestaton of God as Jesus was and everything else that He created. His Word was given to us so that we would know what His will is, and what His ways are and how to talk, and how to live our lives. God has kept no secrets from us. And as we speak by faith everyday and in every moment....we can thus be always "full." Like you quoted in ps 23:5, our cups running over. Which is our emotions, not being controlled or moved by what is happening in our situations or in the world around us, but only moved by the Word of God. Only being moved by the Joy of the Lord, which is our strength. And possessing that peace that passes all of our understanding. So that what the world sees and the devil learns about us, and more importantly what God is proud of...that we walk by faith and not by sight.

God bless you mightily with peace and grace in your everyday!