When cynicism becomes the default language, playfulness and invention become impossible. Cynicism scours through a culture like bleach, wiping out millions of small, seedling ideas. Cynicism means your automatic answer becomes “No.” Cynicism means you presume everything will end in disappointment. And this is, ultimately, why anyone becomes cynical. Because they are scared of disappointment. Because they are scared someone will take advantage of them. Because they are fearful their innocence will be used against them — that when they run around gleefully trying to cram the whole world in their mouth, someone will try to poison them.
I receive a weekly email entitled Brain Pickings from a wonderful curator of thought leaders, artists, philosophers, and many others both current and past. I’ve linked one of this week’s posts and copied an excerpt in case you don’t have time for the whole article.
Talk about a wake-up call. One becomes a cynic to protect themselves from failure, critique, betrayal, and the list goes on. Here is what I am thinking, “cynicism is not compatible with the Christian experience.” For we are to risk greatly, give of ourselves completely, and do not hold back out of fear of loss or rejection or anything else. I’m reflecting long and hard about my glass-half-empty first response a lot of times.
Here is a piece by author Seth Godin about not waiting for someone to tell you that you are good enough, smart enough, or enough-enough to do something. Whatever God whispers…let’s move forward regardless of how crazy others may think it is.
#3 – ” Genuine spiritual authority is to be found only where the ministry of hearing, helping, bearing, and proclaiming is carried out. Every cult of personality that emphasizes the distinguished qualities, virtues, and talents of another person, even though these be of an altogether spiritual nature, is worldly and has no place in the Christian community; indeed, it poisons the Christian community.” from Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I’ve been reading Life Together as part of my daily devotion time and each week seems to hold something else I need to hear. Any church built around one or a few strong personalities should cause us to pause. It is a good reminder to me that my authority does not come from anything except being with people in a position of servanthood.