If you’re anything like me, you often find that you tend to lean towards a cynical outlook on your situation and your surroundings. Cynicism, by definition is a general distrust. Maybe, you always take the negative outlook on a situation, even if it’s meant to be fun. Maybe you find yourself always questioning whether or not the people closest to you are lying to you. Maybe you always think people are talking about you and that you can’t trust anyone. Maybe you question yourself and doubt yourself. And maybe, just maybe, you find yourself distrusting God and unable to believe that He can do what He says He can do.
You see, we often try to say, “I’m cynical. That’s just the way I am.” or, “I can’t help it. That’s just my personality,” and we ultimately attempt to rationalize our frankly unmerited distrust of our situations, surroundings, leaders, family, and friends. Now are people going to let you down, YES. Are your leaders going to let you down, ABSOLUTELY. Are some situations going to turn out worse than you hoped, OFTEN. But does that give us reason to be cynical and distrusting, and more importantly, is it okay to be a Christ-Follower and claim that you’re cynical and that’s just who you are?
I would say, no. Here’s why. Many of the things you’re cynical or skeptical of may be completely petty and unimportant. If you’re cynical of your favorite team’s chances of winning, who cares, right? It doesn’t seem like it matters. People may not like hanging around you, but hey. That’s your own doing. But you see, the problem is, our cynicism doesn’t stop there. If you’re cynical about petty things, I would venture to guess you’re cynical in many areas of your life, if not all areas of your life. If you question whether a friend is telling you the truth, you soon find yourself questioning God, doubting that He can do what He says He can. Doubting that He truly cares about you. Doubting that God even has the power to change your life.
So is cynicism just who we are and we can’t change it? No. Stop fooling yourself. That’s an excuse. Cynicism has nothing to do with who you are and everything to do with your mindset and your outlook on life. Now it’s not easy to change your mindset, just like it’s not easy to change your attitude. But it’s not up to you to change it. It’s up to you to give your cynicism to God and beg Him to let you see things through His eyes and not the eyes of your own doubt.
In our cynicism, we end up creating an inaccurate picture of who God is. If we’re doubting God’s true power and His strength,we aren’t seeing God for who He truly is. God is a massive God. He’s almighty, all-powerful, everlasting, wonderful, counselor, the Lord of Lords, the Author of Salvation, the Life-Giver, the Sustainer, the Creator, and guess what, in all of His might and His power, He knows your name. He loves you. He created you. And He can do anything. He’s not limited by your human understanding. But when we allow our vision of God to be obscured by our cynicism, we stop believing in His power. We start doubting Him. We question every decision our church leaders make. And our relationship with this almighty and all-powerful God of the Universe suffers, because our picture of Him is completely screwed up.
God has just recently showed me that I need to surrender my cynicism, just like I would surrender a bad attitude, and it’s amazing how the God of the Universe can completely rework your outlook on life if you’ll just let Him. I’m learning to stop doubting God. I’m learning to believe that God has the power to change lives. I’m learning to believe that God has the power to heal. And I’m learning to believe that God’s plan for my life is better than my own plan for my life. Sound familiar? In Christianity, we’ll often call this faith, something Jesus CONSTANTLY preached on. So there we get to the heart of the matter. Why is cynicism wrong and why can it starve your relationship with Christ? Because it’s having a general lack of faith.
On a side note, life is so much more fun when you set aside your cynicism. If you just stop distrusting and stop doubting, and actually start taking a positive stance and outlook on your life and your situations, you’ll enjoy yourself that much more. Guess what. If you tell yourself it’s not going to be fun or it’s going to be a disaster, it probably won’t be any fun and it probably will be a disaster. It’s because of your mindset. Cynicism is a mindset. Ask God to transform that mindset, and your whole outlook on life will be changed.