I never, ever want to become cynical.
You know the cynic. The cynic has a way of seeing the negative in most everything. The cynic doesn’t trust anyone. In the eyes of this person, everybody has an angle. No one really is sincere. Everyone is looking out for themselves! As a result, this person rarely if ever experiences joy. No, if joy shows up one day, this person has the capacity to suck the life out of joy with his/her suspicions.
Yes, I know there is much disappointment in this life.
Our parents may disappoint.
Our spouses may disappoint.
Our children may disappoint.
Our ministers may disappoint.
Our elders may disappoint.
Our churches may disappoint.
Sometimes, we even feel disappointed by what God seemingly has done or has not done in our lives.
Yet, I don’t want to become a cynic. A cynic has the capacity to discourage and dishearten. More importantly, cynicism has a way of causing one to focus on what is wrong instead of the God who has the capacity and desire to work in mighty ways.
I certainly don’t want to become one more bitter, cynical minister. Many of these are good people who have been hurt deeply and now are disillusioned and cynical. This is sad.
Refusing cynicism is not about refusing to face the facts. Nor is avoiding cynicism a blindness to the realities of life. No, one can tell the truth, as ugly as it may be, and still refuse to become a cynic.
- Instead of cynicism, I choose to encourage. I would rather be a part of building someone up than to participate in draining someone’s energy and hope.
- Instead of cynicism, I choose to lean into God’s promises. Think about the Christian story. The best is yet to come. I don’t want to get so bogged down in the mess that I experience at times that hope becomes only a word instead of reality.
- Instead of cynicism, I choose the joy of God which is a fruit of his Spirit (Galatians 5:22). I don’t say this glibly or naively. Rather, I say this as a choice.
What have you done to avoid cynicism? What has been helpful?