It’s easy to succumb to cynicism. In his general session Chad Burns, the director of Beyond the Mask, offered advice to avoid what he calls the “descent into cynicism”. Cynicism prospers when life is difficult, when our heroes fall to sin, and when good people suffer while the wicked appear to triumph. Burns suggested valuable practical help in combating cynicism, all of which centers on Jesus Christ who gives us both the pattern and power to live the way God intended. Allowing Him to be on the throne of our lives, changing our wishes and our perspective to be in line with His own, can revolutionize our outlook, renewing hope and joy. When we are changed in this way, we see the good that God is accomplishing, and the prosperity of Jesus Christ being glorified in a situation.
Burns encouraged us particularly to be ready with thoughts on the problem of pain and suffering in the world, which has caused many to doubt the reality of a good, sovereign God. Since God is big enough to be over a world where pain runs deep, He is big enough to have reasons for that pain that go beyond our comprehension. For many, cynicism is a defense posture, but Christ calls us to walk through pain as He did. Burns read from Philippians 2:4-8 which tells us Christ humbled himself, chose to serve rather than being served, and even surrendered himself to death on a cross. Jesus, living through us, gives us the power to fight cynicism as we realize the depth of love He displayed.