I KNOW, I KNOW . . . THIS IS A ROTTEN WORLD. And some people just can’t be trusted. And con men (and women) and phonies and charlatans are out there, ready to rip us off. Even Jesus counseled His men before their solo flights into ministry to be “shrewd as snakes” (Matthew 10:16). Good, sound advice, since there are a lot of hungry wolves out there. I’ve learned over the years, however, that cynicism can quickly set in, bringing only heartache and bitterness. God offers us a better way:
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
My plea today is that we not go overboard, focusing only on the worst. How needed is a balance! The world doesn’t need any more cynics—you know those squint-eyed, jaded folks who see only a glass half empty. That’s especially true in the body of Christ. If you’re a board member or serving on a ministry team and you can’t find a way to be joyful and encouraging, I suggest you step aside. Don’t allow your bitter spirit to hinder what the Spirit is doing in that place. How much better to be a joyful participant in this experience called living—you’ll likely attract a few cynics, but your attitude will ultimately point such naysayers in the right direction. Remember: the Lord is coming soon!
Has God worked in your life in a significant way through Chuck Swindoll and the ministry of Insight for Living? Whatever your story, we’d love for you to tell it to us! Psalm 9:11 tells us to “declare among the peoples His deeds” so others can be encouraged. Submit your story.