I had two key conversations last week that reminded me that cynicism was rife, even in Christian circles.

A senior editor was complaining to me that it was so difficult to recruit journalists these days. Perhaps the Malaysian economy is really picking up and people had other job options. But she also bemoaned the absence of people who want to make a difference in society and who pursued journalism as a way of making that difference. “Perhaps people are more cynical these days”, she commented.

My second conversation was with a senior civil servant and it revolved around the observation that a number of senior positions in the government medical service were occupied by Christians. However, most of them didn’t seem to maximise their positions of influence (given to them by God?) for Kingdom purposes. Indeed most were griping about the frustrations of civil service and some were just biding their time till optional retirement and the promise of private practice.

My friend, the senior civil servant, was extremely frustrated by two things: 1) That these senior medical personnel didn’t see their positions as places to live out their faith, and 2) What a poor example they were to the younger Christian doctors in public medical service.

If I were to play devil’s advocate, I would reply, why bother? Why go out of your way to try and make a difference? What can one person do? After all, no matter what you do, even at great personal cost, life goes on anyway. Nothing really changes. Obladi-oblada, life goes on.

This rampant cynicism gives rise to a dangerous apathy that can paralyse the people of God and curtail their witness in the world.

We need to turn from the Beatles to the Word of God. We read in Mark 4:30-32, that the Kingdom of God is like