Fresh Hope – 13th August 2019

The definition of cynicism is ‘an attitude of suspicion where you believe the future is bleak and that people are acting only out of self interest. An example of cynicism is when you always think the worst and have a hard time seeing the good in anyone’.

The Bible is full of cynical people. People like Job, who struggled with pessimism in his pain (Job 3), and Jonah showed a cynical attitude toward the people of Nineveh (Jonah 4), or Nathanael who said ‘Nothing good could come from Nazareth’ (John 1:45).

Unfortunately a cynical attitude can be found even among Christians. It is usually a response to hurt or disappointment.

A cynical attitude does not produce fruit, hope or love. Here is what a cynical attitude attracts:

  1. The bad. You attract what you focus on! If you focus on only the bad, you magnify it in your life. You miss the good. Instead, our minds should be focused on ‘whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things’ (Philippians 4:8).
  1. Exhaustion. You will physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually exhaust yourself with a cynical spirit. You drain the life out of yourself and out of others.
  1. Ephesians 4:28 says, ‘Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen’. Unwholesome talk isn’t just gossip and swearing! It is anything that isn’t helpful or beneficial to anyone listening. Like cynical comments!
  1. Other cynics. You attract that which you are. If you carry a spirit of cynicism, don’t be surprised when other cynical people find you and feel comfortable around you! Now how joyless and draining is a group of cynics?!
  1. Problems. A cynical heart is rooted in a powerless mind. A cynical attitude, adds to the problem, and does not contribute to a solution. It would rather stay bogged down and critical, than be powerful and free.

 A cynical attitude will hold you back. It will leave you isolated, depressed, and hopeless. Jesus has called us to live full of hope and expectation that He can do ANYTHING, regardless of past hurts or disappointments! He has given us a hope! (Jeremiah 29:11)

If you are cynical towards people, Christians, non-Christians, the church, your work, your spouse, ask God where the cynical attitude stems from and ask Him to show you hope in the situation.

 

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.