Taking Off Those Shades

Last Thursday I posted this about cynicism and wanted to not just present a problem, but bring a solution. So here’s some steps to overcoming cynicism and taking off the shades!

1. First Step: Look in the mirror. The first mistake so many cynical people make is that they think their opinion matters.The truth is it doesn’t. Now for those that just flipped out and are throwing things at the screen right now – calm down, let me explain. In matters of how to do ministry and what church should look like, scripture is farely vague. Scripture does not give practical insight (how to’s), but rather it gives principles (why to’s). So with scripture giving principles and not specifics on how we do church, who decides that? That’s where we flash back to the Old Testament. As God leads the people of Israel through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land, God ordained an individual to lead them – Moses. Moses was the Lord’s anointed – he was the individual God gave direction to (the how to’s) for the nation of Israel. So back to your opinion not mattering. Maybe a better way to say that would be your opinion does matter, but ultimately it’s what God shares with the Lord’s Anointed (Your Pastor) that matters. Now that you’ve looked in the mirror, we’ll move onto the next step…soon. 🙂

Shades in Church

Have you ever walked in from the outside with a pair of sunglasses on? Even in a well lit room it can be difficult to see. Then if, for whatever reason, you leave the sunglasses on your eyes eventually adjust. What you see over time becomes the norm. The longer you leave the sunglasses on, the more normal your perspective appears. Before long, you don’t even notice you’re wearing sunglasses.

In today’s church, I believe there are many individuals wearing sunglasses (hypothetically of course-no one really wears sunglasses in church…unless you’re these guys!). What might those hypothetical sunglasses be? Cynicism. Cynicism robs a person from seeing things clearly from Christ’s perspective. Cynicism in it’s origin is positive. A person becomes cynical because they imagine a ‘better way‘ of doing things. The problem occurs when that opinion begins to dominate their perspective and they miss all the ‘good’ going on around them – all they see is bad. I don’t believe someone just wakes up one morning and is a cynic. Of course we all have our cynical moments, but I’m talking about a life pattern of cynicism – that develops over time. I think there are distinct steps a person takes before they get to the point where they’re rocking those shades! Here’s 3 steps leading up to cynicism:

1. Optimism: Positive Perspective – Positive Attitude.
2. Sarcasm: Negative Perspective – Positive Attitude.
3. Cynicism: Negative Perspective – Negative Attitude.

Once you’ve reached the point of cynicism, you’re not too far from the next logical step: apathy. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about how to overcome cynicism.

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