5 reasons Christians shouldn't be cynical

 
Dan DeWitt | February 5th 2018

Good things don’t last. Bad guys win. Corruption is everywhere. We live in a fallen world, full of fallen people with fallen hearts. So, why shouldn’t we be cynical?

Worldly wisdom may promote a ‘healthy’ distrust of people and their motives, but is this an approach consistent with biblical wisdom? I don’t think the gospel allows us to, and here’s five reasons why. 

1. We know how this story ends

To expect the worst is to completely ignore the entire storyline of Scripture. There’s a progression there, a hopefulness there, a steadfastness there, that makes our cynicism look rather short sighted.

Yes, things have gone terribly wrong. And yes, we will face a ton of suffering in this life, some far more than others. But the Bible leads us to believe that God is working all of these things together for his glory and our good (Romans 8:28).

2. We are God’s image bearers

To be entirely cynical of others would require that we ignore what it means to be human, what it means to be created in the image of God. Yes, every part of us is affected by sin. But that doesn’t mean we are as bad as we could be. We bare the image of a creative and loving God and even those who deny his existence will end up letting his image show through in all kinds of ways they don’t realize.

3. Eternal joy starts now

There is joy to be had in this fallen world. Yes, God has placed eternity in our hearts. But that doesn’t mean there are no divine breadcrumbs in this temporal habitat. God made this big beautiful world. It declares his glory. Being cynical of everything would mean we’d have to rip sections like Psalm 19 and Psalm 8 out of the Old Testament since they talk about how creation is filled with grandeur.

There is joy to be had in this fallen world

4. We should expect good things

If we are to be cynical of everyone and everything we are going to have to completely ignore the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit, Jesus said, is like the wind. He blows wherever he wishes, bringing life with him to all that he touches. Don’t expect the worst. Expect the Spirit to do something supernatural in, around, and through you. That’s far from a cynical outlook, isn’t it?

5. Jesus wasn’t cynical

How can we be cynical when Jesus has called us to trust him and walk in his steps? Jesus knew what was in the heart of man. Yet still he loved, and cared, and ministered, and trusted God, and attended parties, and ate, and rested, and wept, and laughed.

We can’t be cynical because Genesis 3 is not the last chapter of the story. The Bible ends with a new garden, a feast, and sons and daughters gathered around the risen Lamb. As Christians we live in light of the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, the one who was, and is, and is to come.

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In his new book, Life In The Wild, Dan DeWitt walks us through Genesis 3 showing us how we can look at this world realistically but without despairing, as we wait for God to keep his promise to bring us out of the wild and into his new creation. It’s the contrast between Eden, where everything reflects God’s perfection, and exile, where everything is spoiled by sin. The book helps us survive living in exile - Life in the Wild - until “the glorious day when God will welcome us home, out of the wild”.

Dan DeWitt

Dan DeWitt is the Associate Professor of Apologetics & Applied Theology at Cedarville University, Ohio and Director of the Center for Biblical Apologetics & Public Christianity. He is the author of "Life in the Wild" and "The Friend Who Forgives". Dan and his wife, April, have four young children. Dan blogs regularly at theolatte.com

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