Wonder: The Remedy for Cynicism

by APC on December 17, 2015

Wonderment of Childhood

As a child, we have such a wonder and amazement during the Christmas season due to the decorations, gifts, stories, and family get-togethers. But, as we get older, we lose our wonder about Christmas. Without realizing it, we become a cynic and become the “fault-finder” in everything.

We forget the reason we celebrate Christmas is to honor and celebrate Jesus. We need to get the right perspective about the season! How do we change perspective? Jesus told the disciples, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein” (Mark 10:15, KJV) and “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3, KJV). It’s bad for Christians to be childish about the holidays but it is good for Christians to be childlike.

Daily Wonderment

We need to have an excitement about Jesus and our relationship with Him, not only at Christmas, but all year round! If we’re not careful, we can get to a place in our walk with God where we lose our sense of wonder. What we believe is the most overwhelmingly, amazing story:

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory (I Timothy 3:16, KJV).

Our sense of awe and wonder about the Lord should be the same now as it was when we first fell in love with Him. Our worship for God will never rise above our level of wonder for Him—our worship is determined by our grasp of His greatness!

An awe for the Lord of Glory should be in our daily life. If we can’t see His wonder it’s because we’re too far away. We should also be careful that our mouths don’t say one thing about our walk with the Lord and our hearts do another (Matthew 15:8–9).

Christmas is about wonder and the miraculous gift of God’s love toward us. Time has not changed this! If we have a close relationship with God, and we maintain our wonder, our love will grow stronger for Him, not weaker. When we have a wonder for the Lord, we will fully receive everything He has in store for us and on the level He wishes to pour it out! If we struggle with being a cynic this time of year, we need to pray for God to help our unbelief (Mark 9:24).

Ways to Cultivate Wonder to Battle Cynicism

Remember God’s Worth

On a regular basis, we need to search out God’s value for ourselves. We need an intimate relationship with Him, and we can develop this intimacy by studying His Word to see how it applies to our life. When we study and combine our study with prayer, the Holy Ghost will reveal God to us in ways we’ve never imagined! We must be careful not to assume that because we “know” Scripture, we “know” God. We must go deeper than regurgitating the Word, but applying the knowledge we learn.

We cannot worship something we’re not “wowed” about. How are we not awed at how the Lord of the universe chose us (mere humans) to die for over angels? Have we become so familiar with God and His blessings that we’re not impressed anymore? When we become satisfied, or too cynical about Him, we won’t seek after a personal relationship with Him. Our life—our worship—should be a lifestyle of celebrating and discovering God’s worth.

Recover Our Reverence for God

There is a way in which we must serve God (Hebrews 12:28), and in order to be called His servant, we must abide by the criteria He sets for in His Word. We can get caught up in “doing stuff” for God and His Kingdom, but if we lack a relationship with Him, He will tell us He never knew us (Matthew 7:21–23).

We should allow the why drive the what in our spiritual relationship with God. When we lack wonder, we start substituting “works” in our spiritual life and wind up with activity and no relationship. We can become too focused on the details instead of the dream! Cynicism is born when we lose the vision for what God wants to do in our life. If we can take upon His yoke and harness ourselves to Him (Matthew 11:29), we can start to learn how to grow intimacy with the Lord. We need to come along side of Him, instead of Him alongside of us.

The Transformation

We don’t have to be a Grinch this Christmas, or any time of the year, and see the world through a lens of jaded negativity. We can have our spiritual lives transformed back into a state of innocent awe and fascinated astonishment if we can truly find God in our lives. He’s ready and waiting for us to turn to Him and to seek Him out on a level like never before. When we seek, we’ll find Him, and the awe for Him will be ever-present in our life.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on December 16, 2015