Cynicism: Suspicious of Everything and Everyone

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Heb. 11:6 ESV

Cynicism is a jaded negativity which sees selfishness, ulterior motives, and evil intentions in everyone and everything. Cynicism is the opposite of a childlike spirit: a childlike spirit is an attitude of neediness, dependence, trust, and receptiveness to God and his grace.

Cynicism creates a dead spirit; a man or woman with no life in them. Cynicism loses hope in God and anticipation in prayer, all joy in life is lost as we fail to believe that God can be good even in a wicked and fallen world. This ingrained negativity develops scar tissue which kills emotional engagement with people and God. The lack of life, joy, and emotion makes life wearisome depriving us of all energy. Cynicism never believes in anything, trusts no one, avoids disappointment, evades intimacy, runs from commitment, and flees responsibility.

Prayer is the true antidote to cynicism. Prayer believes in God, hopes in answers, asks of God boldly, and trusts his ways. Cynicism contrasts with true faith for he who trusts stands on God’s promises, believes God’s word, trusts the Holy Spirit, looks to Christ, dares to take action, expects answered prayer, and exalts the goodness of God. Cynicism is not a virtue, it takes no assistance from the Holy Spirit to be negative and suspicious about everything.

The mood of the present age is cynicism. Many people are soured on life. They are cynical and negative. This age has three sneers for everything and three cheers for nothing. It has a code of “I don’t believe it this,” “I don’t believe in that,” and “I don’t believe in the other.” They are trying to live by a No. And it is turning out badly and sadly, for you cannot live by a No. You have to live by a Yes. . . .

Now is Jesus a Yes or a No? If he is a No we cannot take Him, because we cannot live by negation. We have to live by affirmation, for we are affirmative beings. We can’t live by No and cynicism.

Jesus is the Yes — “The Divine Yes has at last sounded in Him, for in Him is the Yes that affirms all the promises of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:19-20, Moffat)

E. Stanley Jones, The Divine Yes

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