How to Avoid Cynicism

How to Avoid Cynicism October 8, 2015

This is too good not to pass along. Such great wisdom here on how to demolish a cynical attitude from one of my spiritual fathers, the inestimable Kris Vallotton, who never fails to inspire me. Especially loved this bit:

[S]ome people always prepare for the worst so that they won’t be disappointed. They reason that if something then goes better than expected, they will be encouraged. The challenge is that expectation is actually the manifestation of FAITH and you tend to receive what you believe. Therefore, life gets harder when you think it will and easier when you expect it to be.

Is that ever true. You know that phrase parents sometimes say to their children or that we tell ourselves when they/we are facing some difficult odds? Don’t get your hopes up! They/We do this to protect themselves/ourselves from the pain of disappointment. Yet faith, by contrast, is the assurance of things HOPED for, the certainty of things unseen (Heb 11:1). If you have no hope, faith is impossible. If we do not learn how to navigate disappointment, we will not know how handle success when it arrives. So if I am to live by faith, I’ll keep my hope up.


Always one to marry the theological with the practical, here are a few pieces of advice on how to avoid cynicism, also from Kris.

 1. Look for Jesus in the midst of your troubles. He tends to hang out in hard places.

2. Remember God’s past miracles and works in your life.

3. Cultivate thankfulness in your heart no matter how you “feel.”

4. Avoid the “misery loves company” syndrome by disciplining yourself to hang around happy people when you don’t feel like it.

5. Pray in the Spirit because the Bible says you “edify yourself” when you do.

6. Take a mental vacation. Give yourself permission to take a break each day from thinking about your problems. Cultivate some happy thoughts.

7. Remember the Bible says, “It came to pass!” In other words, it came so it could pass – this season will end.

8. Remind yourself that everything works out for good in the end. So if it isn’t good, it isn’t the end!

Read the whole thing here.

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