I am giving up cynicism for my New Year’s Resolution. I have been accused of being a cynic. I have even been proud of it.
But this year, I realized that I was feeling weighed down by cynicism. I was discouraged about the recent election even before I knew the result. I felt bombarded by endless negative and deceptive political ads from all viewpoints, especially the issues and politicians I agreed with. At one point in my life, I enjoyed watching election returns with popcorn next to my chair. This year, I was more than ready for it to be over.
Cynicism has been defined as “An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others.” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cynicism). The synonyms for Cynicism are revealing: pessimism, sarcasm, suspicion, disparagement, skepticism, distrust, doubt, scorn. It is poison to the soul. A cancer to the spirit.
13 Reasons to give up the poison of Cynicism:
1) Cynicism leads to discouragement.
2) Cynicism leads to a lack of love towards others; harshness toward others.
3) Cynicism leads to malicious gossip.
4) Cynicism leads to unbelief.
5) Cynicism leads to distrust the motives of others.
6) Cynicism leads us to search for conspiracy theories.
7) Cynicism destroys relationships.
8) Cynicism leads to hopelessness.
9) Cynicism leads to an unforgiving attitude.
10) Cynicism leads to hardness of heart.
11) Cynicism leads to fear.
12) Cynicism leads to self-righteous attitudes.
13) Cynicism leads to spiritual illness.
If I back away from cynicism, what should replace it? It is no good to give something up if a vacuum is left in its wake. That leaves space for the poison to rush back in, only more virulent than before.
The cure for cynicism can only come from the life giving transfusion of mercy, grace, love, and faith, which come from God.
God’s Mercy and Kindness
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior. (Titus 3: 4-6)
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— (Ephesians 2:8)
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23