This is from Scandalous. The paragraph is not really a central point Carson is making, but is an example of one among many causes of doubt.

Doubt may be fostered by sleep deprivation.
If you keep burning the candle at both ends, sooner or later you will indulge in more and more mean cynicism – and the line between cynicism and doubt is a ver thin one. Of course, different individuals require different numbers of hours of sleep; moreover, some cope with a bit of tiredness better than others. Nevertheless, if you are among those who become nasty, cynical, or even full of doubt when you are missing your sleep, you are morally obligated to get the sleep you need. We are whole complicated beings: our physical existence is tied to our spiritual well-being, to our mental outlook, to our relationships with others, including our relationship with God. Sometimes the godliest thing you can do in the universe is get a good night’s sleep – not pray all night, but sleep. I’m certainly not denying that there may be a place for praying all night: I’m merely insisting that in the normal course of things, spiritual discipline obligates you to get the sleep your body needs.

Scandalous, Crossway Publishers 2010, pg 147.

My worst periods of pessimism, negativity and cynicism come when I’m tired.
I’ve got to be very careful about what I say (and type) later at night.
It also makes me wonder about the wisdom of conducting church leadership meetings after the leadership have had long and tiring days at work.

3 thoughts on “Don Carson On Lack Of Sleep, Cynicism & Doubt

  1. Anne says:

    How true! And how I wish I would have realized this in my younger years, when I was determined to solve the world’s problems (or my own worries) even if it meant staying up late into the night to “talk it out”–either with someone else, or with God. Sometimes we are so ready to find a “spiritual” reason for a problem when, in reality, it can be linked to something much more concrete and practical. What a relief!!
    Anne (shadowwonder)

    1. Gary Ware says:

      Welcome Anne, there’s been lots of traffic following the link to this article today, so it seems we’re not alone in this area.
      Every blessing

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