Summary: What is a cynic? Oxford English Dictionary describes a cynic as a person “disposed to rail or find fault” and as one who “shows a disposition to disbelieve in … sincerity… and is wont to express this by sneers and sarcasm.” In short, the cynic is “a s
What is a cynic?
Oxford English Dictionary describes a cynic as a person “disposed to rail or find fault” and as one who “shows a disposition to disbelieve in … sincerity… and is wont to express this by sneers and sarcasm.” In short, the cynic is “a sneering fault-finder.”
An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the professed motives of others:
One philosopher noted:
“Most of us know a few people in our lives whom we would describe as cynics. They tend to be rather bright individuals, who are just a little bit full of themselves and never hesitate to voice their own critical opinions of other people.”
“Despite appearances, most cynics are idealists at heart. The typical cynic tends to start off assuming the best… only to be disappointed again and again. This constant disillusionment naturally leads him to being suspicious...”
The Cynic Road:
Disillusionment… (Multiple disappointment; pattern)
Loss of Hope…
Suspicion, Scorn, Scoffing
Is there such a thing as good cynicism? Is there a place to find fault or rail against something?
And what were the results of this living:
I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my work,
and this was the reward for all my labor.
Sounds pretty good!
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.
When Solomon fed his face w/world yet he still hungry.
“Meaninglessness” transl. = “Futility” “Wind” = empty.
It is NO ACCIDENT à That this cynical sense of emptiness was put in our lives for good reason…
Read Romans 8:20-21
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
God placed this sense of cynical emptiness inside of us so that we would see that the only thing that can satisfy us in our lives is a relationship with him.
Pascal said that each of us has a “God-shaped VACUUM” in our lives
Jesus says to us:
Rev. 3:20. (NLT)
"Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends.
No clean up before inviting Him…Works/Gift
You’ll like his gift: John 1:12
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
What happens though when you remain cynical after becoming a Christian?
• Not living by faith.
• Reject hoping in God about an area of life
What are the signs of Cynicism?
• Lack of hope about future.
• Excessively dark interpretations (Excessively dark interpretations of events & motives (sometimes w/chuckle & grin in order to dodge criticism.)
• Excessive sarcasm or negative comments without redemptive attempts.
• Loving to pick out flaws (Almost thriving on that. STICK IN SPOKES)
• Apathy and withdrawal (Because believe nothing can change for the better)
What’s so bad about it?
• Valid critiques become overly negative and hopeless.
• Self-Perpetuating; Entrenches itself.
• Spreads like Gangrene
• Hastens entropy, inactivity.
• Breeds despair & escapism
• Kills ministry and relationships. Alienates people.
o Ministry = helping people to supernaturally draw close to God. Cynics = naturalists :.Self-defeating.
o Hard to draw close to someone characterized by “sneering disbelief.”
o Relationships – U project negative motives onto people around them:
Worst thing: = mistrust and disbelief toward God
Numbers 13:27-31; 14:1-11 (overview)
And the LORD said to Moses, "How long will these people reject me? Will they never believe me, even after all…I have done among them?” Numbers 14:11
Results: 10 spies & the people:
• Forgot God’s faithfulness
• Did not enter the land.
• Lives ended miserably
• Forfeited great blessing
• God displeased
at their lack of faith
Results: Josh & Caleb:
• Entered ‘the Land’
• Experienced God’s goodness, power, love, and faithfulness toward them
• Faith and hope grew.
• Advanced God’s purpose
Incident in Numbers 14 is a warning…
“Don’t grumble as some of them did…”
Here’s the question:
Where have you become cynical?
How do you undo it?
• Call out to God for hope
“So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”