The Cynical Christian?

An Imperfect World

The world is not a perfect place, it is so ultimately because of the foolish choices of man. God created an idyllic world for man which man rejected, leading us into a world with many problems. Life can be cruel and unfair, yet it can also be rewarding and full of many blessings given by God. It is the uncertainty of the future or sometimes even the day that can cause us to stress about what will come.

What Would An Ideal World Be?

The ideal world would be one free from pain, hardship, and challenge. God has promised such a future to those in Christ (Rev. 21) but it is a promise beyond this world. Despite the attempts by man to create “Heaven on Earth” such “utopias” will never exist. The reality that this world will remain a broken, imperfect place can be enough to cause some to become jaded and cynical.

For those in the world and outside of Christ, such an attitude is understandable. There is no meaning or purpose to existence; there in essence no hope in life. To become hardened, to have one’s expectations lowered so as to expect the worst, or to become so cynical as to face life without any joy is understandable because the world offers nothing but despair and oblivion (cf. 1 Cor. 15:32). But what about the Christian who has found new life and purpose in Christ?

The Christian Attitude

Should the Christian ever become hardened, jaded, and cynical just as if he or she were still in the world knowing the hope that they have (1 Pet. 3:15)? Should the Christian approach the world with a dismissive distaste always expecting the worst from those trapped in it or should he or she approach the world with the same patient compassion God has always shown to man (John 3:16)? Should the Christian’s attitude be changed from cynicism to joy in the same manner that he or she has become a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17)?

The simple answer to these questions is that the Christian should of course not only be transformed spiritually, but transformed in attitude (Phil. 2:5ff) and in mind (Rom. 12:2). This is not something that is automatic with conversion, but it is necessary. The Christian must still live in the world, but that does not mean he or she must respond to the world the way the world would expect. Actually he or she will do more to impact the world when cynicism is left far behind.

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