Theodore Roosevelt understood the dangers of cynicism when he observed, “The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer.”
The psalmist nearly succumbed to this danger. He evidently had enemies who were out to get him with vicious lies and rumors. The attacks were so unjustified and his desperation so deep that he thought he would die. In his loneliness and agony he concluded that there was no one he could trust. He confessed, “I said in my haste, ‘All men are liars’” (Ps. 116:11).
Cynicism is a virus that attacks the spirit and breaks down our relationship both to others and to God. The cynic suspects the worst even in the best of people. He can see more evil through a keyhole than others see through an open door.
The psalmist’s enemies nearly defeated him, not with knives but through verbal attacks. And the greatest danger came not from the lies told about him but from their effect on his soul and his walk with the Lord.
Beware of cynicism. Avoid making snap judgments about others while under stress. The psalmist did that but eventually realized that his attitude was wrong. God delivered him and replaced his cynicism with vibrant praise. The Lord can do that for you too.
’Mid sun or rain, ’mid good or ill,
Through all my earthly days,
May nothing bitter quell, O Lord,
My grateful song of praise. —Adams
Those who bless God in their trials will be blessed by God through their trials.