I have been reading a book on Prayer lately by Paul Miller called "A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World." I'm not finished with it yet, but it is Powerful.
Had you asked me a few weeks ago if I was a cynic, I would have said, "No, absolutely not." But you know what? I am to a certain extent - or, at least, I have become one in the last couple of years. Dictionary.com defines cynic as "a person who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions and who disbelieves in or minimizes selfless acts or disinterested points of view." Mr. Miller believes (and I agree) that many of us, as Christians, teeter on the edge of being cynical. We sometimes feel defeated with weariness. We feel numb toward life. But we have not lost all hope.
I have withdrawn myself from "feeling" because it causes pain. But the withdrawing also causes pain, not only to me but to those around me. It is a cycle that I am TRYING desperately to break.
Mr. Miller states that Jesus offers us six cures out of a life of cynicism. I will list them briefly - for more information, please see his book.
- Be warm but wary
- Learn to hope again
- Cultivate a childlike spirit
- Cultivate a thankful spirit
- Cultivate repentance
- Developing an eye for Jesus
Mr. Miller also suggests praying Scripture, specifically the 23rd Psalm. I haven't done that yet, but as I continue to fight this battle, I will be referring to it often. It may not be a battle for my soul/spirit, but it is a battle for my life and Jesus has promised me an abundant life. I receive that promise as my own and am going to fight to have it, with his help.