Realism vs. Idealism
"Optimists think the glass is half full. Pessimists think it's half empty. Realists know that if they stay around long enough they're going to have to wash the glass."
Ideals and realism are both important on our road of life. Ideals give us direction while realism gives us traction. Both have their downsides. Realism can cost us our dreams. Idealism can consume our days looking for perfection in our world.
Is God a realist or an idealist? Some think of God as an obsessive, demanding parent who cannot be pleased, while others think of him as an overindulgent grandparent who is so endearing and compassionate that there is no reason to fear Him.
The most inspiring idealism and the most rugged realism come together in Jesus. He was faithful to the highest principles while offering mercy to the most broken people. Jesus was kind to people that all other religious leaders avoided. He ate and drank with sinners. He offered mercy instead of morality. He did so to show that He had come not to condemn but to rescue.
The Bible begins with a perfect world and ends with the promise of a perfect world. What makes the Bible so compelling is that its rugged realism offers strength for the journey with a vision for a better world at the end of the road. Someday weapons of war will be recycled into tools of agriculture and the defenseless lamb will lie down with the lion. In the end, those who make peace with God now in our imperfect world will find perfect peace in an ideal world forever. And in between, we strive to conform more and more to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ.
There is no conflict between the heights of Jesus' ideals and the depths of His mercy. We have a God who is good enough to inspire us with His ideals, merciful enough to accept us where we are, and too loving to leave us there.
Looking forward to the promise of Jesus of a far better place!