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Silencing cynicism

When I was a child, no matter how sullenly I went to bed - even when I resolved not to talk to my parents for a week (and that would show them!) - morning would find me skipping out to the kitchen, smiling and chirping, ''Good morning, Mom!''

It's not so easy anymore to forget the hurt by morning. I've started major projects, only to find the promised support didn't come through; put much trust in others, in the end feeling I had been used - and the list goes on. In fact, at times I wondered if it might not be easier to quit trusting others so that I wouldn't be let down or hurt again. Yet cynicism consistently left me feeling heavy and joyless. Wouldn't it be a relief to find a better defense against disappointment?

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I opened the Bible one day after feeling badly used, and my eyes rested on these words: ''That thy trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.'' n1 Even to me! I felt comfort in these words and knew that God, divine Love, would never - could never - let me down. Because God is the very Principle of the universe, His care is consistent and dependable. Since God is infinite Mind, His wisdom is unerring and always available to provide for us in just the right way. Certainly we can trust God. Our primary trust actually should be in Him, because He alone is the source of all good. Still, I yearned to think more highly of people, without feeling vulnerable.

n1 Proverbs 22:19.

What example did Christ Jesus provide for us in this line? The Bible tells us that he once passed through an angry mob unharmed. But incidents such as this didn't darken his view of mankind. After the account just referred to, the Bible says that he came upon a man blind from birth. Instead of being preoccupied with a dismal view of humanity, the Master evidently maintained his ever-fresh perception of man as the image of God, the child of Love, because he healed the blindness. n2

n2 See John 9:1-7.

Despite the fact that he was eventually betrayed and crucified - and knew that he would be, as Scriptural prophecy foretold - Jesus continued doing good, and left an unmatched record that could never have sprung from an individual steeped in cynicism.

How did he do it? The Bible indicates that Jesus placed complete trust in God alone, and that he maintained an unwavering view of man's actual selfhood as created by God, expressing the harmony of the divine nature. So instead of becoming discouraged when the human picture didn't match up with the spiritual fact, he continued his healing work, bringing people's perception nearer to what he knew to be true of God's man.

Jesus' love for little children may indicate a helpful approach. Retaining or regaining a child's natural qualities - such as the freedom to let go of anger quickly and go on loving - will help keep our lives buoyant and happy. In an address given in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts , Mary Baker Eddy n3 said: ''Beloved children, the world has need of you, - and more as children than as men and women: it needs your innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated lives. You need also to watch, and pray that you preserve these virtues unstained, and lose them not through contact with the world.'' n4

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n3 The Discover and Founder of Christian Science.

n4 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 110.

Can we, like Jesus, place our whole trust in God and perceive, in ever-increasing degree, the God-endowed good in man? It's a challenge! But isn't the silencing of cynicism a necessary step in our daily work as Christians? And doesn't this Christian outlook hold the promise of a vibrant and more stable joy? DAILY BIBLE VERSE Judge righteous judgment John 7:24

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