Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22)
Some sins are obvious: pride, lust, anger. Then some sins are more subtle and not often talked about, such as cynicism. God didn’t write on Moses’ stone tablets, “Thou shall not be cynical.” No parable guards against it.
Our generation is fuming with cynics: religious cynics, political cynics. They’re funny, they’re paranoid and they’re celebrated. It is hip to distrust, to assume the worst, to doubt and to question authority.
Nobody wants to worship with a bunch of show-offs or phonies. We want authenticity. But we’ve become so suspicious of church leadership and thriving fellowships that sometimes it’s hard to do the simple things: to trust and obey and to worship God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength.
And cynicism spreads. First you start to doubt the motives of a pastor: Does he want us to be giving with our times of his own programs or succeed? Then you wonder about the authenticity of those around you: Are they trying to look spiritual to get attention? Satan is so tricky.
For years, I was a cynic. I didn’t realize the damage it was doing. In my college fellowship I was never able to worship freely because I was always suspicious, focusing on the motives of the people around me instead of focusing on Christ. For years I didn’t tell my friends of the amazing forgiveness I had received. I was surrounded by lonely, restless people, but I didn’t share my story with them. I didn’t think they genuinely wanted it. I was a cynic.
Eventually they started saying, I want to know. I want to read the Bible. I want to come to church. I was shocked. Years later, I grew more aware of the spectacular attractiveness of our holy God. He offers what no one else can and what everyone wants: meaning, purpose, passion and boundless love.
Cynicism is an easy mask to wear, but it will blind you to the call of Christ and blind you to the heart of others.
Read Hebrews 10:22. List five comedians, musicians or political figures who have influenced you to be cynical. How has each conditioned you to distrust love, leadership, religion and sincerity? Think about how this might affect your relationship with God and your spiritual community.
God, forgive me for doubting the power of Your truth. Strip away the cynicism in my heart and allow me to enjoy a full life of worshiping You.