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Cynical people are continually worried - finding it very hard to find anything at all positive in any of life's circumstances. They are also very determined that everyone else in life is after their own interest and have ulterior motives behind everything they do. Their belief that only selfishness motivates human actions significantly limits how they interact with others. Their disbelief in or minimizing of any selfless acts or disinterested points of view usually sets them at odds with others in life. I thought a cynic was perhaps just a nay-sayer - one who just opposed things because they had a genuinely "sour" disposition! Maybe it could be they were just people who had been "burnt" so many times they no longer believed good things to be possible in life. Regardless of their frame of mind at the moment, the cynic cannot see much good in life. It truly would be miserable to face life as a cynic because they have a hard time ever seeing life from the perspective of truth!

Cynics look high and low for wisdom—and never find it; the open-minded find it right on their doorstep! (Proverbs 14:6)

Cynics - those who think human beings are basically motivated by selfish actions - have a hard time finding wisdom. Those who cannot entertain an opposing point of view have a hard time coming to a place of learning from their experiences - therefore, they also have a hard time learning so as to gain any form of personally possessed wisdom. Solomon tells us the cynic looks high and low - they are on a quest, but it is just something they have a hard time finding! This means the cynic is not really "disinterested" totally in finding wisdom, but rather are just having a hard time wrapping their hands, heads, and hearts around it because they have a basic "bent" which causes them to not realize it is right in front of them! Know anyone who fits this type of personality type? Always suspicious of the actions of another - believing they must be doing whatever it is they are doing in order to gain something for themselves. This makes for a miserable view of life. To believe all action - both human and divine - is centered in selfish ambition almost minimizes and undoes any action of love or grace. It also makes for a life in which trust is elusive.

No wonder they struggle with finding wisdom! Wisdom has a basis in trust - you have to experience knowledge in such a manner so as to develop a trust in it. For example, if you open a package of meat, only to be encountered with an odd smell, you might not "trust" this meat is fit for your consumption. What led you to this conclusion? Perhaps it was the "smell" of rotting garbage you experienced on a hot summer day when you lifted the lid of your outside trash receptacle to throw away something. That pungent smell left an impression of something being "rotten" and not good for eating! Now, when you open the package of meat, a little off-color in appearance, the "smell" confirms the suspicion you have formed based on past experience - it is rotten and not good to eat! What happened when you lifted the trash can lid? You developed a memory of the "bad smell" and equated it with "garbage" or "discarded waste". What happened when you opened the package of spoiled meat? You "recalled" the memory of what you came to label as 'garbage'. When you threw the package of spoiled meat in the trash instead of consuming it, you were exercising wisdom (practical application of knowledge obtained at an earlier time).

The cynic has a hard time with wisdom because they stop short of applying the knowledge. Why? Perhaps it is the past experience the cynic has had with "knowledge" of some sort. If they reached out to take a pretty flower into their hand and were stung by a bee the first time they did this, they likely would not "trust" flowers to be safe and enjoyable again! We "filter" all kinds of things through our minds and form memories of them in some fashion - both good and bad; correct and incorrect. Those memories go a long way in helping us interpret new "knowledge" as it comes our way. Right or wrong - we apply what we came to believe by our past experience and interpret all of life through that perspective. The cynic is best served by learning to trust afresh. There is always the hope a cynic will learn to open their mind to a new perspective in life. Not every "memory" of life is a good one to place trust in. We need the wisdom of Christ to help us sort out the ones which actually keep us from experiencing all the good in life God has prepared for his kids. When we come to Christ with open minds, he delights in filling them with "memories" which we can trust! Just sayin!

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