Episode 26: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2

emotional health, mental health, psychology, spiritual health, katina horton, podcasting, podcast, blog, author life, scornful, prodigal son, Jonah, bitterness, resentment, cynical, sin, anger

Episode 26: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2
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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
  • Jonah’s Rights
  • Our Rights
  • Solution
  • Closing
  • Podcast Transcript

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

Those factors are:

  • 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.

After 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 he was. 

The 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 public.

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.

And 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 be merry:

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.

Oh Self-Pity

The 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.

In Jonah’s story, this figure is God.  Not surprisingly, the dad in our first story is actually a representation of God.

What 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 (KJV)

And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying,

Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of theLord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.

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.

Part 2

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.

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.

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:

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 hands.

Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

The Ninevites didn’t have to suffer consequences because they repented right away: 

Jonah 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.

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: 

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Jonah 4: 7-11, KJV

But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

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.

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.

Solutions

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.

God bless! 

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Episode 25: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1

emotional health, ptsd, trauma, mental health, sin, cynicism, mockery, scornful, katina horton, healing, spiritual health, podcaster, author, author life, blogger

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Hello everyone! I have a new podcast episode over on the blog. Just in case you missed the last episode, you can find that one here. Today’s podcast episode is entitled, “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”. My podcast is now available on YouTube. Click here to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for podcast episodes.

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The Sin of Cynicism Podcast Outline

  • Definition of Cynicism
  • Factors that Predispose Us for Cynicism
  • Abuse and Cynicism
  • Podcast Transcript

Good evening!  Welcome to the Healing Our Brokenness Podcast.  Today’s recording is Episode 25: “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”

Definition of Cynicism

Cynicism is the process of being a scorner, doubter, scoffer, having paranoia, mistrust, and skepticism about things.  Everyone is cynical at one time or another, however, cynicism becomes a concern when it gets in the way of life’s joys for us, other people being around us, and it is labeled as part of our brokenness.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

(Psalm 1:1)

Factors that Predispose Us for Cynicism

There are several factors that make up the reasons for one adopting cynicism as part of their lifestyle:

  • 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.

Whatever, the case may be, from the outside looking in, it is easy to be judgmental to something we don’t understand.  It is not a license for us to commit the sin.  However, empathy helps us to understand that the sin of cynicism is just like having any other sin.   It becomes addictive, spreads like a disease, creates negativity, and begs for more.

After having to deal with a divorce from a toxic individual, I experienced some cynicism creeping in.  As a matter of fact, I had someone to mention it to me.  It made me become more aware of when I was allowing it to get a foothold. 

Abuse and Cynicism

I have also noticed that when individuals have been abused, and the abuser has run an all-out smear campaign packed with lies against the victim , and then brainwashes, and pulls in the victim’s family, it becomes the perfect tool for Satan to intertwine inside this person as a stronghold, rather than just a phase of grief. 

The individual starts to believe that no one can be trusted.  We know that this isn’t true.  However, when we are in pain, we often shake hands with Satan for all kinds of addictions and coping mechanisms to cover up our hurt.

We can vacillate from one end of the spectrum to another.  Either we are too trusting, or we distrust everyone.

Trust takes a while to gain.  When trust is broken through lies and betrayal, we are left with the thoughts in our minds that everyone will do the same thing that this person or persons did to us.

Replacing our pain and hurt with healing is the hard, but fruitful way out of cynicism.  But as with any coping mechanism, what we have allowed to go on for so long becomes part of our normal and dysfunctional patterns of behavior.

When things aren’t happening our way, in our will, and in our timing, we trade whole faith and God’s promises for broken pieces of cynicism.

I want to leave you with some bible verses to help you if the sin of cynicism is a part of your brokenness:

Romans 11 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Remnant of Israel

11 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham,[a] a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

The Example of Christ-Romans 15: 1-7

15 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.”For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Thank you for listening to Episode 25 of Healing Our Brokenness:  “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”.  Remember if this podcast is making a difference in your life, recommend a friend for listening.  Thanks, and have a beautifully blessed weekend!

The Body

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Background on the Body

The last poem that I wrote was entitled “The Declaration”, and you can find that poem here.

God never makes a mistake with anything that he does. Just a few minutes ago, I was on Twitter doing some posting and scrolling, and I saw a post by Realistic Poetry. I decided to click on it and read it. They presented a challenge.

The challenge was to write a poem based upon two wooden figures leaning up against each other in a box. One figure has its arm slightly around the other figure. The first thought that came across my mind is whether or not I should enter the challenge. I’m glad that I did because God immediately gave me a poem.

The words that he gave me reminded me of how wonderful it is to be in the Body of Christ, doing life with believers who lift each other up, pray for each other, and bear one another’s burdens. Have a blessed Monday everyone!

I lean against you.

You lean against me.

Supporting each other.

It’s positioning you see.

But, then what will happen,

If one of us gets moved?

Will positioning change?

Will we stay in the groove?

Will the box even help?

Will it support us in pain?

Will the loss of “the Body”,

Bring way too much rain?

I lean against you.

You lean against me.

Supporting each other.

It’s positioning you see.

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Bible Verse for Meditation

1 Corinthians 12:12-27 King James Version (KJV)

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.

25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Episode 14: Broken Pieces Introduction

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Background on Broken Pieces Introduction

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The book Broken Pieces was released a few days ago. The poem that I wrote, which is also included in the book, can be found here. In this episode, we are dissecting the reason for the name, the chapters, and the overarching theme of the book. The introduction of the book will be read to help give listeners insight into wh
Broken Pieces is really about. Does the issues resonate with them? And if so, how to seek ways for God to glue these pieces back together.

Broken Pieces Introduction Podcast Outline

Introduction of the Book Chapters

  • Introduction
  • Broken Identity
  • Broken Thinking
  • Broken Approval
  • Broken Dreams
  • Broken Faith
  • Broken Judgment
  • Broken Shame
  • Broken Comparison
  • Broken Conflict
  • Broken Relationships
  • Broken Forgiveness
  • Broken Healing

Reading of the Introduction

Bible Verse to Focus On:

John 10:10

King James Bible
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Boundaries

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The last poem that I wrote was entitled “Inner Circle”, and it deals with the conflict of deciding who to allow in your inner circle. Today’s poem is entitled Boundaries. It can be difficult to implement boundaries, but when you do, the payoff is rewarding. As with anything, the first step is always the hardest. God bless!

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Boundaries

Boundaries. Boundaries.

It’s where you end and I begin.

Boundaries. Boundaries.

Leave them out, it becomes sin.

Boundaries, Boundaries.

I respect you. You respect me.

Boundaries. Boundaries.

When we leave them out, our rights will flee.

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Bible Verses to Meditate On:

2 Corinthians 6:14

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Proverbs 25:17

Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you.

Episode 13: Grace Aspect of Living With and Healing from Trauma

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Episode 13: Grace Aspect of Living With and Healing from Trauma
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Our last podcast, Lost in the Woods of Trauma, dealt with the process of going from having the trauma identity to reign, to have our identity in Christ to take over. This week’s episode: Grace Aspect of Living With and Healing from Trauma, shares about the embarrassing moments that we all have when we live with and heal from trauma on a daily basis, even when we have come a long way with our healing. It also handles how to see these moments as God sees them. Click to listen!

Podcast Outline

Traumatic Childhood Events

My Traumatic Childhood Event

My Eye Doctor Visit

Grace Aspect: My Resolve

Grace Aspect: Bible Verses for Meditation

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin.  Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy, and find grace to help us in our time of need.


Hebrews 4: 15-16

Released

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The last poem that I wrote, The Advancer, can be found here. Today’s poem, Released, describes what happens when Christ gets a hold of our hearts. When we are open, he can heal us, and take us from a life of just surviving, to a fruitful life filled with thriving. God bless!

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Released

The Savior

The Son of God

He pierces

Straight through the heart

To the point

Where we Confess

That we’re tired

Of the Same, Old Mess

The Lifestyle

Of just coping and surviving

We’re done now

Let’s get to the thriving

He breaks down

The power of Sin

Holy Spirit

Come dwells within

He breaks down

All the walls of doubt

And His Name

Alone gives him clout

He breaks down

All power of sin

All God’s people

Can say Amen

Meditation Verse

Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 6:11