Some cynic wondered if the famous preacher and writer of possibility thinking, Robert Schuller, ever went into his closet and mumbled, “It can’t be done, it can’t be done.” It seems that some people are always trying to be positive, with an ever present smile on their face and a “praise the Lord” rolling off their lips regardless of the circumstances. This, however, is not always the face of faith, nor should it be! The Christian Faith, as expressed in the Bible, doesn’t always take a cheery and positive view of life. I dare say that a Christian (such as myself) has the right to sometimes be cynical!
First of all, it’s okay to believe that we can’t always expect others to be good. The Bible is clear on the fact that we humans are born with a tendency to sin, it’s called original sin. This is why we don’t have to teach children to be bad, but we do have to teach them to be good. As author W. H. Mitchell so aptly put it, “Everyone is awful in their own special way.” Does that sound cynical? It is, and I, for one, am okay with that! Even Jesus, as we’ll see in the closing quote from Him, saw people for who they were and acted accordingly.
Then, too, many of the writers of the Psalms in the Bible lamented how badly others treated them, how God seemed as if He didn’t care (they worked through that one) and how they’d like to fly far, far way from their troubles. Yet, God saw fit to allow these negative, pessimistic, and even cynical thoughts into His Bible!
We don’t need to wear a plastic smile on our face, speaking positive words that are empty of their meaning when underneath the mask we’re crying, hurting, angry, discouraged, or disappointed. What we need is more honest communication between each other and more honest-to-God praying!
This is, according to the Bible, a fallen world. It’s not all good, not by a long shot. So, yes, there’s room for even a Christian to be a cynic on occasion. However, and it’s a BIG however, a strong faith in our good God helps keep our cynicism in check. In spite of the realistic view that there are bad situations, bad people, and even bad in us, we can balance this with the conviction that God is good and He is good all the time!
“But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.” John 2:24-25