I was talking with a friend the other day about a mega church I once attended. We were discussing their processes for their volunteers, their place in the community, and eventually their leadership. That’s when my friend said something a little gut wrenching.
“That pastor will have a scandal sooner or later. They always do.”
“They always do…”
It’s not that he wished ill towards this Pastor, both he and I have experienced scandals in churches and business multiple times. These stories should be shocking, and yet, it’s become mundane to see another church, government, an education official at a press conference explaining how they made a mistake…and got caught.
We were both cynics.
Maybe you are too?
Dick Keyes, author of Seeing Through Cynicism: A Reconsideration of the Power of Suspicion explains:
“I define cynicism as overconfident suspicion. Suspicion, which is good, has to be tempered with humility and love. It is a tightrope walk. I don’t have a tidy limbs test to know exactly where legitimate suspicion ends and cynicism begins.”
The ability to be dismissive and indifferent comes from a place where we think we are aware of all. It’s a coping mechanism that allows us to brush off any surprise. It’s an exit for us not to experience hurt again.
What’s scripture say about cynicism?
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful” – Psalms 1:1
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting” Psalm 139:23-24
The Hebrew word that is used for “scornful” means to talk boastfully, to mock and to deride. Essentially it’s the equivalent to “cynical”. So let’s swap out “scornful” with “cynic” and see how it reads now. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the cynic.”
Nor sits in the seat of the cynic. When we think these jaded thoughts, it truly creates an elevated seat for us to sit and lord over others. Letting cynicism into our heart corrodes our soul.
Every thought that enters your mind needs to be filtered. Most people are in tune with how their feeling but most people are never really in tune with their thoughts. In Psalms when David is asking God to search his heart and know his anxious thoughts, he’s asking God to surface any of the impure mental habits that need to die.
Have you ever asked God to test your mind?
To let God show you if you’re off rhythm with His beat?
Sometime this week, find a place where you can get silent before God. Take deep breaths and ask God to reveal your thoughts. Your thoughts can be a tricky monster to tame, so asked God to help tame them.
Today, may you control your thoughts. May you not be a slave to cynicism, but may you look at the world the way the Lord sees the world. May you see the world through His eyes and may you respond with grace and wisdom.