How Cynical Are You?

Free Bible Study Materials for Christian Discipleship
 August 2014

Dear fellow disciple-maker,

As I get older, I believe there is one thing God wants me to avoid – becoming a cynical person. How cynical are you? There is nothing attractive about a cynical Christian. A Christian with a cynical disposition may be moral, but he often says things that are stinging and cruel. Sarcasm and cynicism are not a fruit of the Spirit of God.

Cynics are usually suspicious and bitter. They demand that human beings be perfect – something they cannot be. This expectation comes from their preconceived ideas of how people should think and act. When someone does not measure up they are severely judged. This judgment can come in the form of a subtle "look," or a blatant rebuke.

Jesus' Example

Sometimes the reason we are disillusioned with people is that we don't really know what they are like. This was not the case with Jesus. Our Lord knew exactly what everyone was like. He was never surprised by anything that a person said or did. John 2:23-25 reads, "Many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man."

These verses reveal an amazing fact about Jesus. He knew all men. In other words, he knew exactly what people were like. So, what kept him from becoming cynical? The answer is his confidence in God. Our Lord's love for people was rooted in his love for his Father. Jesus' confidence in what God’s grace could do for any man was so strong that he despaired of no one. Jesus put his trust in God, not people. As a result, he "knew" everything, yet was never disillusioned, suspicious or cynical.

photo courtesy of ian burt

The Secret to a Sweet Spirit

To know much but despair little is a spiritual trait worth learning. Our relationships with others will become healthier when we recognize that God himself is the only one who can measure up to the standard of perfection. Only God can satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts and never let us down. If our trust is placed in human beings and not the Lord, we will ultimately end up disappointed with everyone. The Spirit of Jesus, living in our hearts, gives us the power to see people as they really are and yet maintain a sweet, non-cynical disposition toward them. The wisdom that comes from heaven is sincere, not cynical. Let your life resemble the life of Jesus. There is nothing attractive about a cynical Christian. So, how cynical are you?

Author:Paul Schlieker

Permission to reprint this page in its totality is granted.
For any reuse or distribution of How Cynical are You? or any of our Free Bible Study Materials author credit and web address is required.

Please email us with questions or comments. 

Return from How Cynical Are You?
to Free Bible Study Materials for Christian Discipleship

Home - Bible Study Lesson Plans