Han Solo from the Star Wars movies is probably one of the most famous cynics in the movie world (if you are not a Star Wars fan, please keep reading nevertheless—I promise I will not get too geeky here). Two of his most famous movie lines are:
“Look, I ain’t in this for your revolution, and I’m not in it for you, Princess. I expect to be well paid. I’m in it for the money.”
“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”
Han Solo is the lovable rogue and cynic, who represents the polar opposite of the hero of the story, Luke Skywalker. Luke is the dreamer and idealist full of hope.
This week, you have heard about the importance of hope, how to make room for it, and where to find it. Today we will be talking about the opposite: cynicism. Cynicism is rampant in today’s world, and it is the thief of hope. It is a hope killer.
I am sure you have encountered cynical people in your life. They are the ones that will focus on the mistakes made even when the team wins. They are the ones who will not let you enjoy anything. They think that hope is not worth it. They feel like they need to bring reality into every conversation. Being around someone like that is like standing under a dark cloud, and their pessimism sucks the oxygen out of your lungs.
Cynicism can be defined as:
- 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).
Hope deferred makes the heart sick.
It is therefore very important that we do not give into being a cynic, no matter how tempting, but instead embrace hope through forgiveness and praying.
I had to make exactly that choice recently. Someone I love very much is an addict. He has been an addict for almost two decades. It is not the kind of addiction that happens overnight, but occurred gradually and slowly built with time until he was consumed by it. He has in recent times become aware enough of his situation and even admits that he is an addict, but he is still not willing to do all the things he should be doing to get the help he needs to break free from his addiction. It breaks my heart to watch how the thoughtless and hurtful actions resulting from his addiction drive the people who truly love him out of his life.
I could be a cynic and say that there is no hope for this person because he is an addict. But I still feel in my heart that there is hope for a miracle or for a come-to-Jesus moment. Of course, he would still have to do the hard work himself to get “clean” by making major changes in his life, since no one can do that for him. I will not give up hope that one day he will finally turn his life around. I will always choose hope over cynicism.
When was the last time that you were tempted to be cynical? Did you choose hope instead? If not, why? If you did choose hope, what happened, and how did that make you feel?
If you are cynical, what would it take for you to believe God’s promises?
Make a list of Bible passages you can read when you feel tempted to be a cynic because of your circumstances. Think about how you could have viewed things differently and behaved differently the last time you had a cynical response to something. Make a commitment in your heart to always choose hope over cynicism.
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for giving me hope in my life. Thank you for allowing me to be the eternal optimist that I am rather than having a pessimistic outlook on life. By giving me this world view, I am able to see flowers in the deserts that I sometimes have to walk through until I’m able to see the other side. Thank you for walking with me on my journey. Amen.
This post was written by Cordula Mora. Cordula is a neuroscientist who currently works in the Provost office at Bowling Green State University. She was born and raised in Germany, then spent many years living in New Zealand before settling in the US almost 16 years ago. She was raised in a German Protestant church but feels blessed to have been spiritually awakened when she was introduced to CedarCreek Church. She thanks God every day for all the blessings in her life, including two amazing daughters and a wonderful man whom she loves and whom she wants to serve the Lord with.
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