The Truth About Cynicism

I’ve been reading A Praying Life by Paul Miller and here’s a few things I’ve learned concerning how CYNICISM eats away my joy in Christ. Most of these are quotes from the book.  All of these we need to remember.

  • Cynicism [can so easily be] the air we breath, and [can begin] suffocating our hearts.
  • Cynicism kills hope.
  • The cure for cynicism is to become like a little child again.  Instead of critiquing others’ stories, watch the story our Father is weaving.
  • C.S. Lewis once said, “those who will never be fooled can never be delighted, because without self-forgetfulness there can be no delight.”
  • The cynic is rarely fooled, therefore he is rarely delighted.
  • The cynic focuses on the darkness; the child focuses on the Shepherd.
  • Cynicism feels more like bondage
  • Because cynicism misses the presence of the Shepherd, it reverses the picture in John 1 of light invading darkness.  Instead, it just looks at the darkness and gets annoyed by the light.
  • Like Saruman in The Lord of the Rings, cynicism looks too long into the Dark Lord’s crystal ball.  Its attempt to unmask evil unwittingly enlarges evil
  • Believing that you have the perfect relationship, the perfect children, perfect knowledge or a perfect body sets you up for a critical spirit, the breeding ground for cynicism.
  • Cynicism looks reality in the face, calls it phony, and prides itself on its insight as it pulls back.  [Meanwhile] Thanksgiving looks reality in the face and rejoices at God’s care.  It replaces a bitter spirit with a generous one.
  • Cynics imagine that they are disinterested observers on a quest for authenticity.
  • Cynics assume they are humble because they offer nothing.
  • Cynics feel deeply superior because they think they see through everything.
  • Cynics read all of these and doubt that being overly critical is really that bad.
  • Our only hope is to follow Jesus as he leds us out of cynicism. 

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