Two Reflections About Cynicism

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

I’ve sung that song for years. In fact, I’ve sung it so much that at one point in my life I grew cynical to the simplicity of the call. Music should challenge the intellect and not just be pleasing to the ear , I would pontificate seated squarely atop my high horse. And it’s not just in terms of music. I can be cynical about most anything, especially when it involves the things of faith.

That’s my luxury. I live in an affluent and free society. And cynicism is the luxury of the affluent. I’m not worried about someone busting into the worship services I’m attending; I’m not very concerned about the government arresting me for being a Christian; I’m not anxious about even one of the 15 Bibles I have in my home being confiscated and taken away.

Because I’m not, I’m free to pursue other interests. Like cynicism. I can freely and easily judge away what I might determine to be a less sophisticated way to express my faith. Which brings me back to that simple chorus:

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Cynicism is a luxury of the affluent; but cynicism is also a poor substitute for obedience. And that’s what I use it for most of the time.

I criticize those who might be trying to obey the Lord because I find their expression of obedience uncomfortable. It’s frankly much easier to criticize someone else rather than being obedient on my own.

I bet, and I’m really just guessing here, that those who are seeking with their whole heart to be obedient to the revealed will of God have little room for the kind of cynicism I occupy myself with much of the time.

Cynicism is the luxury of the affluent. And cynicism is a poor substitute for obedience. Far better is to trust and obey.

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