How to avoid the cycinism trap

Dante Wilcox

Magazine Assistant Editor


There is an interesting thing that happens when someone tells a college student how to live his or her life, namely they argue.

Perhaps the college student in question is right, maybe he isn’t, but one thing is for certain, the speaker will never hear what he or she has to say. Nearly every Monday and Wednesday students will discuss how amazing or how terrible a chapel speaker was, without considering the humanity of the man they are discussing. It is vital that Christians understand truth, and by knowing that, they are able to recognize false teaching, but if people are always seeking the bad things to complain about, then they can never learn anything truly valuable.

Consider Christ: when false teaching was presented to Him, He rebuked the ones speaking lies. But He did so with love, and even when He flashed anger, it was never because of preferences or a difference in methodology, but because people were disobeying the Scriptures.

Jesus, being who He is, knows the Scriptures perfectly. He is the Word. However, when people assume to know the Word of God, it is best that they reconsider and reexamine to make sure. With all this said, no college student can say emphatically that he or she wholly understands the Bible, and should, therefore, be humble when approaching those in authority.

1 Peter 5:5 says, “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to your elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’”

This does not mean that we must follow our leaders and teachers blindly, for that is the way of a fool, but this does mean that God has placed people of authority in the lives of the young to guide them. Sure, there are chapel speakers who don’t speak correctly, whether unintentionally or not, but this does not make them completely incompetent, nor their message invaluable.

“We do need to quit being, not only cynical, but we cannot use facts, fear and force to change people,” says graduate student and NGU almumnus Daniel Roberts, “We are supposed to do everything for God without griping, complaining, and so on.”

And perhaps some speakers try to use those tactics, but that does not give any student permission to hate the man who may be incorrect or condescending. So, instead of ignoring the faults in our stars so we can find those in others, there needs to be a definitive mark of love, and within the midst of the anger and confusing words, there is truth, and every person can learn from misguided men, and most of the speakers are honestly not so misguided as some students might say.

In James 4, we see these words; “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law, and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”

Sin is prevalent in every person’s life, and every believer has been called to give up his own desires, so learn to quietly disagree, instead of attacking people in ways that will benefit no one. Cynicism is like cancer, and unchecked it will kill a relationship with Christ.