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Don’t Waste Your Life Away Being a Cynical Christian
Dn. Benny Low
20 October 2020
In the context of our faith, there is much literature written on how to live (or how not to live) according to the Word of God. In this article, I would like to share on a specific topic - cynicism in church and how it impacts our walk with God.
What does it mean to be cynical and what is cynicism? According to Cambridge Dictionary, it defines cynicism as - the belief that people are only interested in themselves and are not sincere.
Indeed, we are found to be self-centred and insincere on multiple occasions. The negative presentation of human nature in the definition is not surprising. It is but only a subset of our sinful nature. In Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
We can even back the case for cynicism up with empirical data. Many of us can readily pull out from our bag of personal disappointments details of bad experiences with a brother or sister in Christ. Surely, these are justifications for being a cynical Christian! I encourage you to think otherwise and let me suggest 2 reasons why.
1. It determines how you respond to others.
If you perceive you are surrounded by Christians who have only personal agendas and are insincere, the natural response is to treat every interaction with scepticism and deal on a superficial level. By default, everything that you see and come across is negative. If so, why bother? But what is God’s perspective?
All of us are works in progress. Our faith can only progress if we put what God commanded into practice. In the refining process, some may have left a bitter taste in your mouth over an incident or behaviour. While there is no assurance that everyone will progress in their walk positively, not everyone will be stuck at the same spot! Don’t let an incident that happened in the past hold you back or cause you to lose your confidence in the power of our Almighty God to change a person. How about you? What areas of your life does God want you to work on? How would you then sincerely interact with others to build one another up?
2. It determines how you give of yourself to others.
If you subscribe to cynicism, you will tread carefully and refrain from doing anything for the kingdom of God. You will be afraid of being criticised or perceived to be having selfish motivations. As such, it is better to keep a low profile and minimise interactions with the body of Christ. Again, what is God’s perspective?
In John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. Jesus wants us to love the way He showed unconditional love for hopeless sinners like us
We must practice this and it can only be possible if we show genuine interest in others instead of minimising interactions with one another. Who have you noticed that have gone under the radar during this Covid-19 period? How can you proactively reach out to the people around you? Where can you serve to meet the needs of the church?
It is possible to be discerning and not cynical. Man will fail you and so will you fail man. Don’t live a life of avoidance by cutting off from the church in mind and body. Keep your eyes upon Jesus and do not be discouraged. Be fruitful. Don’t waste your life away being a cynical Christian.
Dn. Benny Low