Several weeks ago we talked about the seven attributes of effective seekers.
We all face disappointments. Maybe we are failing, or maybe we don’t find God doing the things that we wanted him to.
Malachi was a contemporary of Nehemiah. Malachi is a good book for studying the topic of cynicism.
5 Marks of Spiritual Cynics
- The first mark of a spiritual cynic – they question whether God loves them – Malachi 1:1 – How have you loved us? That is quite a question coming from people who have been led out of captivity and their city and temple have been rebuilt.
- The second mark of a spiritual cynic – a carelessness towards obedience – Malachi 1:6 – If the president came to your house for lunch you wouldn’t serve him the least of what you have. You’d serve him the best. The priests in the temple were doing the same thing to God, offering offerings that were not according to the standard that God required.
- The third mark of a spiritual cynic – a weariness towards serving God – Malachi 1:9-11 – It is a drag to serve God for the cynic. It isn’t a joy. They still go through the motions, but their hearts aren’t in it. Cynics find service tough and don’t see its value.
- The fourth mark – God’s justice is out of office, when they see evil doers prosper – Malachi 2:17
- The fifth mark – they don’t think they are rewarded enough – Malachi 3 – The people have been slacking when it comes to tithes. They aren’t getting the rewards that they think they deserve.
Fruits of this Cynicism
- Those who have started to question God have quit worshiping him and giving him honor.
- Spiritual cynics continue to go through the motions, but the offerings being made are being a waste.
- People are turned away when people become spiritual cynics. They cause many to stumble. They push people away from God.f
- Blessings are lost. God tells the people that they are “cursed” because they are robbing Him. God was withholding his blessing from them.
- They become spiritually clueless. Look at all the questions that have been posed here in Malachi. These people are asking questions that show that they don’t understand, they’ve lost touch and their perspective towards evil and sin.
- Their standing with God is in grave danger.
God’s Challenges for Spiritual Cynics
Malachi 3:10 – God isn’t done with the cynic. He tells them that if they return to Him, He will return to them. God challenges them to stop robbing Him, and return and trust him.
If you find yourself questioning God’s love. Or if any of these marks are showing up in your life… consider where you are.
We can never serve God “well enough.” A good question to ask ourselves is, “where am I robbing God in my life?”