Have You Been Infected?

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When the pandemic began in 2020 our preoccupation was trying to avoid being infected with it. Millions upon millions around the globe stopped life as they knew it to try to stave off the relentless virus. We no longer did most things that were common to us or that we loved and for many of us, that was still not enough, and we became ill anyway. Later we discovered the discoveries to prevent the virus from overtaking us were not what we hoped or thought and sometimes brought problems of their own for us to face.

Three years later we are still trying to sort out what happened and why, looking at research, beginning to discover our road back to “normal” has not exactly worked as we hoped it might. We are changed from how we were before the pandemic and have had another unseen enemy infecting more than a few of us. And this one can be no less deadly.

Our optimism for the future and life getting better has been eroded by the cynicism of the culture we live in to one degree or another.

What is cynicism anyway?

A quick check of an online dictionary defines it this way: “an inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest; skepticism: an inclination to question whether something will happen or whether it is worthwhile; pessimism.”

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Cynicism has slipped in little by little so we have difficulty trusting people, institutions, companies, organizations, governments, and most things we believed we could count on to one degree or another. The result of even a tiny bit of infection from it has had significant results.

“Cynicism is so pervasive that, at times, it feels like a presence. Behind the spirit of the age lies an unseen, personal evil presence, a spirit. If Satan can’t stop you from praying, then he will try to rob the fruit of praying by dulling your soul. Satan cannot create, but he can corrupt.”

Paul Miller

But we missed that the problem started before the pandemic. It started when we were slowly being seduced into the belief that certain things were absolutely trustworthy, that humanity had developed paths, programs, solutions, and concepts that were ones we could “take to the bank” and trust. Little frogs in a kettle analogy fits as we slowly believed in humanity as the source of what we needed and could rely on. That wasn’t so bad, was it? But it began to lead us away from absolute truth and the awareness of humanity’s frailty and susceptibility to temptations of all kinds that have been with us since Eden.

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Did we forget that too much of even a good thing may not be good for us?

“Cynicism begins, oddly enough, with too much of the wrong kind of faith, with naive optimism or foolish confidence…

In the nineteenth century that optimism shifted its foundation from the goodness of God to the goodness of humanity. Faith became an end in itself. President Roosevelt rallied the nation during the Depression by calling people to have faith in faith. In the Sound of Music Julie Andrews sang about having confidence in confidence itself.”

Paul Miller

When this kind of faith, confidence, and optimism is shattered, what we discover is weariness, the erosion of the trust we had, and cynicism. We can start to believe that everyone has an angle and ultimately Satan can numb us so that our souls can be tempted to no longer look to the only source of hope there has ever been. When everything swirling around us is out of control, we can even stop praying. And this is the deadly snare, the trap, Satan had in mind all along.

From the beginning of time, Satan has wanted us to stop believing in God and start believing in other things. Old Testament stories speak of idols, and we forgot they come in all sizes and shapes and lure us into believing in what we create or make (golden calves). Humanity was making so much progress (or so we thought) that even though we weren’t perfect, we began to believe in ourselves more than we realized.

Cynicism is not unlike a virus that is contaminating everything and if we do not see it, we will be neutralized. We don’t need to participate in evil. We just need to be anesthetized to its presence and our blindness to its insidious pervasiveness.

It’s time to wake up, shake our lethargy and not be looking in all the wrong places and wrong behaviors or decisions to regain our footing.

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“We can’t remain neutral with evil. We either give up and distance ourselves, or we learn to walk with the Shepherd. There is no middle ground.”

Paul Miller

The Shepherd Paul Miller speaks about is waiting for us to wake up and turn around and find Him there waiting to show us the path to truth and redeem the foundation of our faith that is the only thing that can stand in the face of cynicism and evil. That begins with praying, not passively. The psalmist gives us the example and so did Jesus when He walked the earth.

The psalmist was not cynical.

“A praying life is the opposite. It engages evil. It doesn’t take no for an answer. The psalmist is in God’s face, hoping, dreaming, asking. Prayer is feisty. Cynicism, on the other hand, merely critiques.”

Paul Miller

Which will you and I choose?

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18 thoughts on “Have You Been Infected?

  1. Cynicism does seem to infect so many people today. Thanks for reminding us of just how deadly to faith reliance on self and others really is and how cynicism has been the result.

    1. Thanks, Donna. So many of these habits creep in without our recognizing they are infectious when we listen.🌷

  2. I agree Pam, cynicism is an infection that grows from a single seed, I see it in some of those I know.
    I often comment to hubby that it was as though God had pushed the pause button on the world when we had those lockdown years of the Pandemic. Revealing that mankind isn’t as independent as once thought, exposing our need & dependence for Him & not on our abilities.
    Thank you for this insightful post!

    How is your mouth going now?

    1. Well said about the impact of the pandemic. See the dentist for a several hours appointment – will let you know what happens.🙏🏻

  3. Wow! Your words are powerful and feel like they were written just for me. I need to wake out of the slumber I have embraced and see God and what He wants for me. It is easy to blame everything on 2020 but we are three years past the shutdown. It is time to wake up.

    1. Thanks very much, Mary. I don’t think most of us have realized how much we are still prone to be in a stupor from 2020. Follow-up post tomorrow💕

    2. Thanks so much, Mary. Your affirmation and encouragement are a blessing. You do that well!

  4. I think you’ve summarized the problem that we all face and that it’s the spiritual battle that really puts us at risk. We do need to have our minds transformed by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. Visiting from IMM today

    1. Thanks for the affirmation. My post tomorrow will be a follow-up on tips tp help us with the issue.🌺

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your views and as a Christian I totally agree with you. We have to trust and put our trust once again, today and every day in our Lord and Saviour
    Visited you via #AnythingGoes
    If not already part of SSPS, this is a personal invite to hop over and come and share your posts with us at Senior Salon Pit Stop, every Monday to Saturday.
    See my entries: 34-36 and then navigate to the bottom of my page for the Senior Salon Pit Stop linkup, we hope to virtually meet you there.

    1. Thank you! I have started putting Senior Salon Pit Stop on my calendar and am receiving your email posts. (Tomorrow’s post is a follow-up😊

      1. Awesome thank you so much we truly appreciate your support and participation.

  6. I agree, cynicism is an infection that can grow, I see it in a few family members who think people are always out for their own agenda and can’t imagine the pure love and motives of Jesus. Praying for us all to not get infected. Thank you for this insightful post … 🙏💕

    1. Thanks, Donna! A little cynicism goes a long way toward growing into something we may not even recognize in ourselves.💕

  7. Even as a non-Christian, I get you. As the philosopher Hegel (18th century) pointed out, each idea has its opposite ingrained in it and, as such, extreme optimism will sooner or later lead to cynicism. It is so sad.

    1. I so appreciate that you get what I shared despite the differences spiritually. I agree with your observation. Thanks for taking time to read and comment. Have a great day😊

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