Eliminate cynicism

A cynical attitude can be defeated. And it should be. It is wiped out of consciousness by the development of pure spiritual sense. Spiritual sense is the capacity to understand and appreciate the infinite goodness of God and His creation. The cynic's view of life, even in the old philosophical sense, can lead to some pretty hard times. It led Diogenes to confine his diet to such delights as coarse bread, and his bed to a tub. He was a follower of Antisthenes, founder of the Cynic school of philosophy in the fourth century B.C.

Today cynical views usually imply a scornful or harshly skeptical attitude toward the motives or virtues of others. Obviously an approach to life that is mere mortal optimism about people and events is not the answer. But then neither is an expectancy of the worst. A cynical outlook can be effectively challenged and overcome by understanding what Christ Jesus revealed about man's relationship to God. Although Jesus gave us the full and effective answer—an entirely spiritual solution—facets of cynicism that have always been a part of mortal consciousness would still today trickle into our thoughts and even attempt to dominate them unless we bring ourselves into accord with the Christ, the true idea of God.

A little background may be helpful in pulling off the disguise of cynicism—which is basically a limited, finite sense of things— and replacing it with Christliness, the real essence of consciousness. Drawing a point of doctrine from his teacher Socrates, Antisthenes reasoned that since valuing the pleasures of human experience results in wants and desires that cannot be satisfied, a wise person will view with contempt the ordinary pleasures of life.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

What is a divine idea?
May 14, 1979

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.