CLIMBING OUT OF CYNICISM

Last week I wrote about dealing with cynicism and its effect on my walk with the Lord. Cynicism is fault finding. I was full of fault finding, which led me to a comparative logic in which I always came out on top; a false humility in which I was blind to my own shortcomings which led me to a path of distrust in God, His goodness, faithfulness and everlasting love that He not only has and is but, that He has for me! I recently read that one will repeatedly make the same mistakes when we haven’t learned what God is trying to teach us –ouch.  There is a lot to unpack in that statement, but it does stir a desire in me to look more closely at those things that repeatedly occur in my walk, in my life, in my marriage. Most recently, out of the state of cynicism I found myself yet again. I offer you no magic formula. I only offer you what the Lord revealed to me.

Last week God used several things to move me to remember, realize and recognize, then refocus. I read a devotional about God’s constant and faithful presence in my life-whether, I feel it or not. Through 1 Cor. 13:12 & Ps. 29:11 and other verses, I was first reminded to remember some simple yet profound truths about my relationship to God. I am safe and secure in God’s presence. I am on my way to heaven; nothing can prevent me from going home. I will see Him face to face. I am never separated from Him, but for now, I must see Him through eyes of faith. God will always walk with me ‘til the end of time and onward into eternity. Remember, nothing can separate us from the love God has for us, from His love for us, to us, in us and through us.

I was changing over to a new journal. In my binder I was removing papers I had slipped into the edges of the past journal. I found some notes I had written to a teen to think about as they work through conflict with their parents. I had offered up several verses for them to read and meditate on: James 4:1-11; Phil. 2:1-5; Mt. 5:21-26, 43-47; Mt. 7; Titus 2:11-14 and 3:5-6. I exhorted them to realize and begin asking God: What have I done that does not align with Your word? Am I more focused on what the other has done that I am suppressing or denying my wrong? What might God be asking you to do to be more like Christ in word or deed? Of what may I need to repent? How might I need to practice humility and Christlikeness? All these questions have nothing to do with what God is asking my spouse to do, but what God is asking of me to realize about me.

Lastly, I read a blog that reminded me to recognize, am I seeking uniformity in my marriage or unity? God’s goal in marriage is not uniformity; His goal is unity. Uniformity is having little to no differences, but unity is what you do in the face of difference. God’s beautiful design is to place me next to my spouse, who is different from me and doesn’t see life that way I see it, to mature me and create dependence on Him. Marriage cannot be the husband’s way against the wife’s way because whoever has the most power and can pull out the best weapons will win the battle. That’s not unity.

In all this, God gives me freedom to choose sin or righteousness. I do not get to choose the outcome. I cannot determine the concrete things of life that I long for and that is why I need faith. That is why I need hope. If only for this world I have hope, I am to be pitied (1 Cor). God offers me eternal hope. He shows me I live in a broken world because of sin, therefore, there is pain and problems and  differences. In that reality, He wants me to realize I need Him. He alone can give me eternal peace, hope and joy through Christ. He alone can conform me into Christlikeness-helping me to be loving, kind, humble, forgiving, giving, patient, self-controlled, joyful….

That is what He is asking us to do while we wait for that glorious day for Him to return. “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So, we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” 2 Cor. 4:16-18   I need to continually refocus.

What might you need to remember? What might you need to recognize and realize?  Refocus. Where are your eyes?

by Patti Calderon

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