A Citizen of the Kingdom

The poet Maya Angelou once wrote, “There is nothing quite so tragic as a young cynic, because it means the person has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.”  Cynicism is something that seems to be entrenched in our society, just ask any of the teachers in our congregation and they will tell you how difficult it is to teach someone who is indifferent to the world around them.  Theodore Roosevelt once gave a speech at the Sorbonne University in Paris during his presidency entitled “Duties of a Citizen”, which had some encouraging words on how to view cynicism.  “The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer. There are many men who feel a kind of twisted pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt.  There is no more unhealthy being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an attitude of sneering disbelief toward all that is great and lofty, whether in achievement or in that noble effort which, even if it fails, comes to second achievement.” It is easy to fall in line with the cynicism of our culture, but as Christians we are held to a higher standard concerning attitudes toward life.  As we read in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” We are to be an example to those who are mired in negativity, “so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10).

-Jon Jackson