Jun 2, 2013
Cynicism is a tricky thing. It gives the appearance of evolved sophistication while masking its root of brokenness. Have you ever met someone so coolly cynical that you wondered what brought them to that point? I remember a co-worker in Los Angeles years ago that was steeped in cynicism when it came to matters of the heart, namely, men. Upon getting to know her, I realized that her lack of faith in the male gender was due to her ex-husband’s betrayal. The man she had trusted to love her forever, had not. It’s an age-old story. She buried her pain deeply, closing herself off rather than risk being hurt again. But the defenses she put up didn’t allow healing to reach her either. Her mistake was in believing that all men’s motives were the same. Her expectations were skewed. She carried a lonely burden and it exhausted her.
All cynicism is sad. However, I think when it’s directed towards God and by his own people, it’s the saddest of all. People blame God for all sorts of things. If life doesn’t happen according to their preconceived expectations, they conclude that God has failed them. Malachi’s people did this.
You have wearied the Lord with your words… By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?” (Malachi 2:17, ESV)
Notice the result. They wearied the Lord. It causes me pause to think I can actually weary God with my sin. It’s not that he runs out of energy. The prophet Isaiah tells us that the Lord “neither faints nor is weary” (Is. 40:28). Rather Malachi says that God, who has proven his goodness and love time and again, gets weary of seeing his people persist with unbelief.
I think one reason this unbelief is sad to God is because it plays out in our relationships. When a person quits trusting God, the only one left to trust is human… and let’s face it, we disappoint. Then when disappointment comes, the blame is on God all over again. I get weary just thinking about it! Distrust is exhausting. But God understands our limitations. He fulfilled his promise to the Israelites and provided an answer for us today, through Jesus, the Messiah.
How have you become cynical? Do you weary in wondering when your burdens will lift? Jesus invites us to bring them to him. To learn from him. To rest in him.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30, ESV).