Opinion | Church

The Cynicism Trap: Why Trusting Fellow Christians Is a Spiritual Discipline

Even when our fellow Christians fail morally.

Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. And suspicion?

The fruits of the Spirit included on this list should look pretty familiar to anyone who has spent time in a church. So should the final item—even though it's certainly not a fruit of the Spirit.

It doesn't take a new Christian long to discover that the church is full of damaged people, healthy wheat and toxic tares growing side by side. If a church leader is of the toxic tare variety, those affected by the leader's poisonous words or deeds have to find a way to reconcile the sinless life of the Christ they follow with the hurt and confusion they've experienced as members of his body. To move forward, many of us re-brand our innocence as naÏvetfamp;copy; and our newly minted sense of suspicion as wisdom.

But I believe that as our suspicion grows, our ability to trust God, and others, gets lost in the translation.

Gabe Lyons and David Kinnaman's oft-cited 2007 book, UnChristian: ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber? for full digital access.

Support our work

Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Read These Next

hide this
Access The Archives

Member-Only Access

Subscribe to Christianity Today to continue reading this article from CT's digital archives.


Already a subscriber? to continue reading.