Each of us has a lens we see life and people through. The filter on the lens shapes our perspectives. Often, our perspectives are skewed making our judgments inaccurate and unaligned with God’s perspective. How does this happen? Our human filter (heart) has been corrupted by life’s negative experiences through heart wounds that manifest into a cynical attitude.
Cynicism is undetectable because it can be justified. It’s disguised as insight, wisdom, and godliness, but it’s cloaked in open wounds; unresolved relational issues, and bitterness against others.
The lens of cynicism is a hopeless view of life and people. Cynicism sees people through a lens of distrust, doubt, suspicion, apathy, and a critical spirit. Cynicism believes everyone has an angle and is out to get us.
There was a time in my life when I viewed people through this distorted lens. I had come from a job where devious, dicey politics were played almost daily, and you had to play the game to keep your job. When I relocated to another job, I didn’t realize cynicism had been installed in my heart at my previous job until one day, I realized this was not me… I was distrustful, suspicious, and critical towards my coworkers and leaders. I intentionally created paper trails, emails, and anything I could conjure up to cover myself in case anyone decided to blame me for something I didn’t do.
That was not the person I used to be…. or wanted to be. Jesus doesn’t want us to view people through a lens of cynicism either. Belief, faith, confidence, trust, and affirmations are the opposite of cynicism. Jesus wants to heal our heart, our damaged emotions, and our sinful responses to our damaged emotions. He wants us to see people and life as He does- with eyes of love, hope, and faith.
Be aware also, that the enemy of our soul is most anxious to drop thoughts in our head that paint others as sinister characters, and life as hopeless and passionless. What we allow Satan to drop in our heads and what we meditate on, is how we will respond to life and others. The good news is, we don’t have to accept these thoughts. We can cast them down as soon as we realize what we’re thinking about (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Is God revealing an area of cynicism in your life? Let me encourage you to 1. Look to the root of the cause. 2. Take it to God and ask Him to heal your negative emotions from past wounds, and 3. Help you see others the way He sees them.
God can change your thinking if you’ll submit yourself to Him, ask for His help, and meditate on His Word to help replace negative thinking.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8