A gang of cynics ...
A gang of cynics can upset a whole city; a group of sages can calm everyone down.
A sage trying to work things out with a fool gets only scorn and sarcasm for his trouble.
A fool lets it all hang out; a sage quietly mulls it over. -Proverbs 29:8,9,11 MSG
The word sage conjurs up all sorts of meanings. Solomon himself was known as a sage - many of the prophets were as well. Other biblical versions simply render sage as a wise man. It is interesting how these verses contrast sage with fool and cynic - I have never thought of a cynic as a fool but this passage causes me to wonder. When I think of a cynic I am reminded of a person who thinks the worst about a person or a situation. That seems to be the opposite of love.
Solomon tells us that cynics can upset many people. I can relate to being upset by the prognosticaion of cynics who can only see bad things happening. I have fell into this trap - some days I can only see dark times ahead. In contrast the wise person sees a brighter tomorrow. Yet a fool will often respond to his cynicism by telling everyone how bad things are while the sage will think before they speak. Speaks to me about the value in praying before we speak.
Dear Lord, I am prone to cynicsm. Deliver me from its power and cause me to be wise in thought and speech.