My weekend discussion on this topic: How have you allowed yourself to be led by emotions? (i.e., tightening up control with the kids, yelling, saying things that you later regret?) What was the background story? What patterns of behavior do you notice makes you want to ride the wave? What patterns of behavior helps you to jump off of this surfboard? How could you have reacted better than you did? How did you heal the relationships that were damaged as a result of you being led by your emotions instead of responding to life’s issues?
Episode 26: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2 Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
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In case you missed last week’s recording, “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”, you can find that here. Today’s recording is Episode 26-The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2.
The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2 Outline
Reflection on Part 1
Dissection of The Older Brother
Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Part 2. Today’s recording is episode 26: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2. Just as a quick recap from Part 1, we discussed the fact that Cynicism has several factors that lead up to its brokenness as a state of mind:
Reflection on Part 1
You have experienced a lot of issues with betrayal.
There are historical patterns of things not working out in your
favor, or working out in a way that is undesirable to you.
You get to the point of seeing too much and hearing too much to
think that things will be different.
Most of the people that you trusted let you down.
The few times that you thought things would turn out good, they
turned out bad, and you lost faith in believing that things could be different.
In the case of the two stories that we are
going to look at today, the two biblical characters carried out the sin of
cynicism because of two main reasons:
The historical pattern of character of the authority figures.
The lack of legalism that existed for these authority figures.
The two men that we are going to dissect is Jonah
and the older brother of the prodigal son.
Their reasons for cynicism contradict the normal factors. Cynicism set in with both of these men because of the recognition of the good qualities of the father and God.
Dissection of The Older Brother
Let’s explore the story of the prodigal son first.
The dad was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, kind, forgiving,
accepting, non-judgmental, long-suffering, and compassionate.
the prodigal son returned home penniless, hungry, and exhausted from wild
living, the father could have greeted him with judgment, coldness, and
distance. Instead he accepted his son, welcomed
him with a grateful heart that he was safe and sound, and embraced him for who
fact that he ran to meet him to diffuse being shamed by the community was a
bonus. It showed the son that he was
going to be welcomed. There is nothing
worse than messing up big time, and not knowing what other Christians are going
to say as you reenter the house of God or run into them while you are in
Luke 15 tells us:
But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had
compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight,
and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe,
and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is
found. And they began to be merry.
The father knew that hitting rock bottom was enough of a consequence for the younger son. He didn’t need to enforce further punishment. He also possessed enough self-acceptance that he didn’t worry about being embarrassed in regard to the reaction of the community.
older son dwelled on his sin of cynicism that is evidenced through dialog that
is filled with scornfulness, bitterness, and resentment. He felt that he had been failed. He didn’t focus on his younger brother’s
condition of going from “lost to found”.
Along with his cynicism, he was filled with self-pity and envy: Luke
15: 28-31 reads: “28 And he was angry, and
would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29 And he answering said to
his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any
time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make
merry with my friends:
30 But as soon as this thy
son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for
him the fatted calf.
31 And he said unto him, Son,
thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32 It was meet that we should
make merry and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and
was lost, and is found.
The father tried to get the older son to go
in twice. We are left wondering what
eventually happened. Did he stay outside
and continue to sulk? One thing this
clear about the brother’s dialog is that not only is he resentful, but he is
filled with broken thinking. Two words
suggest broken thinking when resentment is present: “always and never”.
Our dialog goes something like this:
“I always have to clean the house.”
“She always gets to do something special.”
“I never have the opportunity to do anything.”
Nine times out of ten, these statements aren’t
true. If they are true, there is some type
of dynamic that has been setup that needs to change. Or, perhaps, the financial situation has
changed that allows you to do more for the younger child than you were able to
do for the older child. Whatever the
case may be, broken thinking is present.
First-born children tend to be
rule-followers. With that thought in
mind, the older son definitely felt that he was cheated since he was the “rule-follower”. However, one thing about rule followers is
that they can get caught up in being legalistic because they follow the
rules. God is more concerned about our
hearts than checking off boxes to say that we did something.
Let’s explore the story of Jonah.
Jonah was told to go to Nineveh to warn them about
their sin and God’s judgment for their sin if they continued going in the
direction that they were going.
Jonah decided that he knew best,
and so, he skipped out on the trip altogether, and took a boat ride to a
different part of town. God had a fish
to swallow Jonah. And Jonah prayed
inside of the fish for God’s mercy and grace, and the fish released Jonah.
Let’s discuss the character of the authority figure in Jonah’s story.
Jonah’s story, this figure is God. Not surprisingly,
the dad in our first story is actually a representation of God.
are the characteristics of God that Jonah was familiar with?
God was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, kind, forgiving,
accepting, non-judgmental, long-suffering, and compassionate.
In Jonah’s story, Jonah was bitter, resentful, and cynical because
God proved that his heart was all of those characteristics that were just
mentioned. It was okay for God to have
all these attributes when it came to saving him. However, it wasn’t okay for him to possess
them when it came to saving the Ninevites.
God gave Jonah a chance to get it right. He sent him to Nineveh a second time:
Jonah 3 King James Version
3 And the
word of the Lord came
unto Jonah the second time, saying,
2 Arise, go
unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid
3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the
word of theLord. Now Nineveh was
an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.
4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast,
and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from
his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and
sat in ashes.
7 And he caused it to be
proclaimed and published through
Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor
beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
8 But let
man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let
them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their
9 Who can
tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we
Ninevites didn’t have to suffer consequences because they repented right
4: 10 says:
10 And God
saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the
evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
Like the older brother in the prodigal son story, Jonah was so
angry that he didn’t know what to do with himself. God tried reasoning with him. Unfortunately, Jonah wasn’t haven’t it.
His cynicism showed up in verses 1-2, when he basically said, “See,
this is why I didn’t do what you told me.
I know this is how you would respond.”
Here are his exact words: “But it displeased
Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
2 And he
prayed unto the Lord, and
said, I pray thee, O Lord,
was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before
unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to
anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
God told Jonah that the people were lost, just as the father tried to help his older son to understand about the prodigal:
Jonah 4: 7-11, KJV
God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd
that it withered.
8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God
prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he
fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die
than to live.
9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for
the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.
10 Then said the Lord,
Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither
madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:
11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?
Jonah and His Rights
Jonah pouted outside of the city underneath the tree just as the
older brother pouted outside of the party celebration that was going on inside
for the prodigal son. Both men felt that
they were right. Both authority figures
tried reasoning with them twice. Both
were caught up in anger, bitterness, resentment, and cynicism. And both missed out on blessings because of
it. But why? They ignored the sovereignty of God. We have all been in both of their shoes. WE know best.
WE know what justice should look like.
WE can play God and have mercy and grace poured out on us, and others
should not. When we don’t adhere to God’s
plans, his timing, and his will, we trade whole faith for broken pieces of bitterness,
resentment, and cynicism every time.
When cynicism becomes our brokenness, it becomes our idol, and we began to scorn God directly and indirectly because of our trials and other peoples’ success. This is how Satan works. If he can get us to lose trust in our faith due to our trials, others’ brokenness, and the hurt and pain of “church hurt”. Then, he has got us.
So, the question is, how do we get out of this sin. Prayer.
Lots of it. Cynicism is spiritual
like all other sin. Getting grounded in
our identity. Getting rid of our broken
thinking. Changed thinking equals
changed talking and changed talking equals changed behavior. Accept that God is sovereign. Pray and ask God to help you to be able to trust
again, knowing that we can’t live in this world without it. It takes time to heal, but it is
possible. Trust God’s sovereignty and
plans for our lives.
I hope that you have enjoyed today’s episode. Thank you for listening, and if today’s episode
has impressed upon your heart, share it with a friend or coworker.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Listening and Doing
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Have you ever been in a situation where you had to literally run for your life? I have, and I tell you, it is no joke. I had to run to safety. I was right in the middle of going through a divorce, and there was an issue that came up for visitation to be ceased for a few days. Unfortunately, the order was ignored. My daughter and I continued to get call after call, and doorbell ring after doorbell ring. I told her to stay away from the door as both of our nervous systems went into hypervigilant mode. There is more on the hypervigilant mode of trauma here. And if you have been through any type of PTSD/trauma, you know this moment is like fear on steroids X 100 with you watching and waiting for when and where something will happen.
My dear friend called me while this was taking place. I was supposed to be attending a Divorce Support Group that night. There was no way that I was going to leave my daughter at home to deal with this situation. I texted two members of the group, telling them to have fun, and that I had serious situation going on at the homefront. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake the fear. My system was jacked up with adrenaline, anxiety, and fear. That’s when my friend advised that I spend the night at her house. She said that I could have trouble on my hands all night if I didn’t. At this point, I was tired of getting the police involved.
I packed up our night clothes, my important papers, and clothes for the next day. I also had to call my son and get an okay for him to spend a night at a friend’s home. I told him that he was not to return home for any reason.
My friend pulled up to the garage, and my daughter and I ran to get into her jeep, and as she sped off, the three of us quickly glanced to the right, noticing a figure hanging over pretending as if it were limp.
We didn’t get much sleep that night because we were in hypervigilant mode, waking up every 20 minutes or so, having to both shut our phones down from the incessant ringing.
Like myself, David was on the run for his life. Saul’s jealousy turned into anger, and his anger turned into madness: “And Saul was furious and resented this song. “They have ascribed tens of thousands to David,” he said, “but only thousands to me. What more can he have but the kingdom?” 9Andfrom thatdayforward Saulkept a jealous eyeon David. “1 Samuel 18: 8-9
However, David wasn’t able to stay there long. He was advised to leave, running from place to place, cave to cave for safety, but God was with him: Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Depart and go into the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.…1 Samuel 22:5, BSB
1 Samuel 23:7-14King James Version (KJV)
7 And it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah. And Saul said, God hath delivered him into mine hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars.
8 And Saul called all the people together to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men.
9 And David knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod.
10 Then said David, O Lord God of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake.
11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O Lord God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the Lord said, He will come down.
12 Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the Lord said, They will deliver thee up.
13 Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth.
14 And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand.
Even when we are at our lowest point, and in the depths of fear, God is with us.
We thank you for being our refuge when there is nowhere else to go. We pray that during times of crises, we would seek you like never before, knowing that you have an angel of armies running with us.