Fighting Cynicism | King of Kings | Week 1
Consider opening your group praying for each of your group members to be able to name and release their cynicism in order to live in joy and gratitude.
Cynicism is an attitude of bitterness and mistrust toward people, authority, and even a hopeful future. We see this type of cynicism in the life of Zechariah. When the angel Gabriel came to tell him that his wife would have a child, something he had probably prayed about for a long time, he was unable to believe that God would do what he said.
God silenced Zechariah so that his cynicism could not spread to others and so that he would have space to listen to the Lord. Unaddressed cynicism stunts our faith, joy, and gratitude, and spreads relentlessly to others. To address our cynicism we have to turn down the noise, tune in to the Spirit, and submit to God’s pruning in our lives.
- Where has cynicism crept into your life?
- What noise can you turn down?
Luke 1 67 Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy: 68 “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people. 69 He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, 70 just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago. 71 Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us. 72 He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant—73 the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham. 74 We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live. 76 “And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. 77 You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. 78 Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”
Ask for a volunteer to read the verses from Luke 1 out loud. Zechariah spent Elizabeth’s entire pregnancy in silence, watching God do what was promised. Based on Zechariah’s speech before and after his time of silence, what changed inside him? Ask your group if anyone practices silence in any way? If so, let those members share how that has changed their lives. Perhaps together, you could agree on a way of silencing the outside world for even small periods of time and listening to the Spirit.
Practice for the week
Together, practice what was decided on by the group and discuss it at the beginning of your next gathering.
Pray to close your group, making space for people to confess their cynicism. Ask for obedience and for the transforming work of the Spirit.