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Archive for April, 2011

Cynicism

I started a post over three weeks ago. It was a bit of a rant. A complaint about the church and Christians in general. I still feel angry about some of the things I was upset about, but I have decided to keep it to myself for a while and try to work on my own flaws and offensive nature rather than target other Christians. I have a cynical spirit. I think a part of me has been unknowingly proud of it. In my subconscious, I think I tell myself It’s a realistic, intelligent approach to life. I’m not one of those annoying, gushy, emotional people. I’m strong and steady. My cynicism provides me with a barrier to protect me from feeling too much. Once you start opening yourself up to others and to God, you open yourself up to pain. I don’t know how to deal with pain because I’ve always prevented it by establishing my safe emotional distance.

Part of the reason I’ve been thinking about this is because I’ve been reading A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller. This line from the section entitled “Understanding Cynicism” resonated with me:

“To be cynical is to be distant. While offering a false intimacy of being “in the know,” cynicism actually destroys intimacy. It leads to a creeping bitterness that can deaden and even destroy the spirit.”

I’ve always known that cynicism was a huge ugly part of my personality (I always blamed that on my father…sorry, dad), but hearing it described as so I realized what a bigger role it plays in my life on every level.

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