Trust the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
Most people receive countless fraudulent phone calls and emails from scammers trying to access our private information so they defraud us. This is an ongoing issue the government has been trying to fix for a while. As far back as September 1, 2009, new FTC rules went into effect prohibiting most prerecorded telemarketing calls, commonly known as robocalls, unless the telemarketer has the consumer's prior written authorization to transmit such calls. More legislation was enacted in 2021-2022 called the TRACE (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence) Act, which gave the Federal Communications Commission new tools to fight unwanted, and often illegal, robocalls.
The proliferation of fraudulent phone calls, emails, and texts has increased the level of cynicism in this country. Many people are reluctant to answer their phones unless they recognize the number. People who are in pastoral ministry find it more difficult to reach out to those in need because when we call them to check on people, they are very reluctant to answer their phones or respond to our texts.
The divisive political climate in this country has also contributed to the increasing level of cynicism in our society. Most people distrust politicians they did not vote to elect. They consider fake news any information with which they disagree or is against their political ideal. Unfortunately, many people died from COVID because of their cynical attitude towards vaccination and wearing masks.
Cynicism is toxic to the beloved community which offers radical hospitality to everyone and recognizes and honors the image of God in every human being. Cynicism prevents us from exhibiting personal authenticity, true respect, and validation of others. A cynical spirit destroys trust and advocates fear of anything or anyone different from our personal preference.
In today’s text, the writer encourages us to trust the Lord with all our hearts and not lean on our own understanding. In all our ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight our paths. God is worthy of our trust even when human beings are not trustworthy. We trust God because He is the source of all blessings. God’s love for us is unfailing. Everything God does and is doing ultimately works for our good. Therefore, we cannot surrender to cynicism even when God’s answer to our petitions is delayed.
Believers should cultivate a life of joy to avoid a crushed spirit. Cynicism dries up joy and makes one irritable. Many of the people who join terrorist organizations have a cynical outlook on life and their socio-political situation. Thus, they engage in terrorism to express their resentment and bitterness.
Cynical individuals struggle mightily in their relationship with God because they are not operating with faith and trust in God’s sovereignty. Believers are asked to trust God even when they do not understand or agree with His plans for their lives. We are exhorted not to live by what we see only, nor should we let our emotions shape our spirituality. By faith, we wait on God even when our existential reality is perplexing, and the pressures of this world are overwhelming.
Questions for Personal Reflection
How can the word of God help you overcome a cynical spirit?
Why should a believer not surrender to cynicism?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please increase my faith and trust in you despite the negativity which exists in this world. Remind me of your providential love when bitterness and resentment are trying to invade my heart and my mind. Please give me the wisdom to discern your truth amid the avalanche of misinformation I am exposed to every day.