ISSUE: 2008, Volume 5, Issue 1
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You have probably met him and his sister, before now. They are always cynical and sarcastic. They never accept things at their face value; there is always some hidden agenda for them. Whatever anyone says, or does, elicits from them some negative comment. It is not that they have any constructive criticism to make. No one objects to constructive criticism. It is the mocking attitude that they show that undermines so much in an assembly and causes so much trouble and strife. And the mocking attitude is shown to any and to all who see things differently to them, even those in authority. The Cynics even despise God’s assessment of things, Prov. 14. 9.
The Authorized Version calls them ‘scorners’, the ESV ‘scoffers’. These terms reveal the attitude they show. They are trouble-makers. ‘Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease’, says Solomon in Proverbs 22. 10. Scoffers can even set something on fire with their negative, divisive, attitudes, Prov. 29. 8. You may seem them working away, undermining this one’s authority or that decision. ‘Of course, that’s never going to work, is it?’ ‘We all know what he is really after’. ‘That’s just what you would expect from her’, ‘Fat lot of good that will do’.
They are unteachable. The Cynics are unable to accept that anyone knows better than them.‘A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise’, Prov. 15.12. ‘A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke’, Prov.13. 1. In fact, the Bible tells us it’s a waste of time trying to correct them, for they will not listen. ‘Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee’, Prov. 9. 8. Mr Sarky would not recognise sound advice if he saw it, Prov.14. 6. The only way to deal with him is to ignore him, and if he continues to cause trouble, to discipline him. ‘When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise’, Prov. 21.11, Prov.19. 25 & 29. If he continues to cause trouble, he should be put out, Titus 3. 10-11. When the Cynics go, out with them will go trouble, strife, quarreling and disgrace, Prov. 13. 8; 22. 10.
What does God think of Mr, or Miss, Sarky? ‘Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly’, Prov. 3. 34. And that contrast is a good one. What God wants is less of the cynical, sarcastic attitude, and more of that lowly, humble, teachable spirit in the attitudes of believers. The one God will bless is the one who trembles at His word, Isaiah 62. 2. Sarcastic, cynical people are fools in the end, for they tear down, undermine, divide and discourage. Do you know any? Don’t listen to them. Are you one? Don’t be a fool. Be wise.