He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed
That in which we prolong our association tends to rub off on us. I began this study with the question of “if so many valiant souls fell from the gospel, then what chance do I have?” This question, though, chooses to restrict its consideration to only the tragedies that are found in the scriptures. If we limit our view in this way, then of course we will start to grow cynical and doubt ourselves. If we become obsessed with observing Judas, we run the risk of forgetting that there was also a Peter.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works
I believe this is part of the reason why Jesus commanded his faithful disciples to shine forth. There will always be depressing examples that discourage us, and that pessimism needs to be actively beat back with a light of hope. Yes, there are those that tried and failed, but let us not forget that the scriptures also overflow with positive examples: men and women that came from humble beginnings, became spiritual giants, and held their faith to the end. There is sufficient reason to be an optimist, if we will just allow ourselves to focus on it.
If the paths of doubt and hope can each be well justified, then why not choose the better part?