Cynical = Dog Like
The word comes from a group of philosophers that followed the teachings of Antisthenes, basically means “dog-like” or puppy. It is a sneering, sarcastic person and might mean they lived in a culture was harsh, disparaging and crusty one. It is also said Antisthenes lived with a pack of stray dogs.
I kind of picture a rough, gnarly cur dog of a person that trusts no one and always snarls and snaps a biting mouth at you.
The first toxic person is the “always cynical” Christian. Not only do they not trust, they don’t, or can’t, see the good in anything. It may start with good intents – trying to see what needs to be corrected, and sharing for an attempt to correct what they seem as a faulty or flawed process, ministry or _____ (you fill in the blank.). In reality, it is more about their personal pride in what they think is right than it is about anything.
This is not about critical thinking, discernment or redemptive thinking. This in a degree are healthy, and they focus on hope and the power of an all transforming God. But they should always be done with humility and selflessness.
Cynical people end up not thinking about any hope, any good, or seeing God working in and through all circumstances. A true glass half empty, and the glass is too small, too dirty, too blue (or too red), too far gone. And to make it worse – cynicism is contagious.
But our focus should focus on the redemptive qualities of our Lord – even at our worst. It should be hope in a hopeless world.
In our cure, in a cynical world, we need to remember the whole act of God’s steadfast love, His long-suffering nature, and His never giving up on those who are His.
I get it – it’s hard to trust people, we will be let down and let others down ourselves. But our trust is not, nor ever to be in people. Our trust is in Him and Him alone. If we trust Him, and that He is at work – we will be at a long more
So realize … more is happening than meets the eye, that God hears every prayer, that Jesus is truly reigning and coming again, and that, if we’re serious, we’re not idiots for thinking so —the idiots are those who don’t (Psalm 14:1).
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. . . . See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled. (Hebrews 3:12; 12:15)
And like a stray dog – sometimes it will take a lot of love, a lot of patience, and a lot of encouragement to wear them down. And we should always remember, God is very long, veeerrryyy looonnngg suffering with me and with you too.
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