“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
(Mt 10:16, ESV)
==> The cynical skeptic holds his fellows in contempt, seeing through their hypocrisy and understanding just how awful they can be. It is a miserable existence, making you end up witty and bitter. But the reason you persist is that you are correct in your assessment, and you feel truth is more important than joy. (Do you think H.L. Mencken was happy? Would you want to be H.L. Mencken? I’m glad he existed, but I wouldn’t want the job.)
==> The idealistic skeptic believes that people are basically good, that mass murder, raping, and pillaging are just aberrations that technology and the arts will gradually eradicate. This allows you to face the world–because otherwise it would be unbearable–but the more clever people around you know that you are living in an illusion. Deep down, so do you.
==> The Christian recognizes the truth that his fellows are contemptible. However, he doesn’t descend into smug superiority, because he realizes he himself is just as much a hypocrite and scoundrel. Yet this recognition doesn’t drive him to drink, drugs, and despair, because the Lord–for some reason–loves him and everyone else. And if Jesus, who was Himself perfect, loves my neighbor and me, then I should do the same. Though humanity left to its own devices would descend into utter depravity and destruction, we can be filled with joy because we’re not all on our own.