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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Greenberg

What if it is Both?

In life, we are often confronted by questions such as is the glass half full or half empty. We are told that the answer to the question depends on our point of view or our level of optimism. In the world of faith, a Scriptural belief of these types of questions can be even more forceful with the answer drawing lines and many times forcing those answering to choose sides. And these choices sometimes divide friends, congregations and even families.

To be sure there are certain truths that are not half full-vs-half empty type questions. Truths such as but not limited to there only being one G-D. That there is only one way to be saved. That all have sinned. That Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah.

But there are many things the Bible shares that can be legitimately viewed from different points and both points being accurate. For instance, the Bible says being Married is a good thing Proverbs 18:22:

Whoever finds a wife finds good, and receives favor from Adonai. Proverbs 18:22 TLV

And it also teaches in 1 Corinthians 7:

But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them to remain as I am. 1 Corinthians 7:8 TLV

Another example is found concerning children. In Psalms 127:3-5, we read happy is the man whose quiver is full of children.

Behold, children are a heritage of ADONAI—the fruit of the womb is a reward. As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they speak with their enemies at the gate. Psalms 127:3-5 TLV

Yet in Micah 7:6 we find:

For son treats father with contempt; daughter rises up against mother; daughter-in-law against mother-in-law: a man’s enemies are the people of his own house. Micah 7:6 TLV

There are many other examples of topics where the Bible can be seen as showing that the cup can be half full or half empty. Are the above examples contradictory? Only if we are viewing them out of their context. Is finding a wife a blessing? Absolutely! Can a man also be blessed and be single? Absolutely. Are children a blessing? Absolutely! Can they also become enemies? Absolutely!

The truth is that once we go beyond the doctrinal absolutes of Scripture much of what we read depends on where we are viewing the verses from. Great divisions are caused in the Body of Messiah simply because we have been taught that the glass must be half full or half empty when the truth is many times the glass is both half full and half empty.

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