So what is apathy? Well, the definition is simple. It is the mindset of, I don’t care! It is having a lack of concern for others, ministry, spiritual growth, or what God wants of us. In a nutshell, it’s impassiveness about God. An attitude of, “God I really don’t care about you. I want all that you can give me and have for me. I want your blessings and definitely your salvation from hell, but don not ask me for anything. I have a life to live. I am too busy.” What are we thinking?
Spiritual apathy is perhaps one of the most ignored “diseases” in the Christian life. It’s a condition of the heart. It rarely, if ever, manifests itself in open rebellion. Instead it’s a secret thing, sometimes not even evident to those around us (although often evident to others before we even admit its presence in our lives). Spiritual apathy doesn't care; it’s an I-can-take-it-or-leave-it attitude toward spiritual things: Bible reading and study, prayer, worship, church, witnessing, our world-view, our mental and emotional filters, relationships, service etc.
The thing about spiritual apathy is that it rarely strikes like a bolt of lightning. Instead it sneaks up on you; it’s a process that you don’t see coming. Few Christians become apathetic overnight – but they do over years. We all know people who at one time were faithful but who over time stopped attending church, reading their bibles, praying, witnessing – in short, stopped living the Christian life in any meaningful way. It is a slow spreading disease that begins to infiltrate every fiber of our spiritual being.
Then I opened my eyes and glanced around the room at the worshippers of Jesus. No one had their hands raised, no one was excited, people were fidgeting and talking over the music; mouths were singing but not with utter joy and anticipation as seen at the concert. Rather it was superficial and done merely out of obligation. There was a lack of real worship coming from the believers and little reverence was being shown. My heart broke! How can we cheer for people on a stage and players on a field which have done nothing but entertain us? Yet not cry out in complete worship to the Creator of the universe, the sustainer of our soul, the one that has given everything for us. I don’t understand.
I couldn't help but cry and ask God for his forgiveness. Then it hit me, we have the disease of apathy. It has hit our worship, it has hit our homes, and it has invaded our relationship with Christ. We simply don’t care anymore. I've heard pastor after pastor talk about apathy from the pulpits, yet no change comes from the body. We don’t vote because we say, ‘ah our vote doesn't count anyhow.’ We don’t worship reverently because we say, ‘ah He loves us anyhow and I’m really tired.’ We don’t tell people about Christ because we say, ‘ah the Holy Spirit will tell Him or someone else will come along.’ We can’t get involved in the work of our churches because, ‘I just have to much going on.’ We are watching our children and teens wander away from God in droves, yet do nothing about it. And the list goes on and on and on. My friend God says in his word not to be apathetic…
If we were to be honest with ourselves, we would admit that we have all become infected with “apathy”. But, like the characters on “The Walking Dead”, we just haven’t realized we are infected. If asked, we would say, “There is no way I am apathetic to God.” Let’s ask ourselves this, when was the last time I really made an impact for His kingdom?”
Being a youth and children’s pastor, I see the spread of this disease first hand. I watch it spread from parents to children all the time. I am guilty of passing the infection also. Think about this. We send our kids to school for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 36 weeks of the year, and for 13 years of their life. That is, if they don’t go to college. Trust me, I believe that is extremely important. Just follow me a second. Also, in that time frame, we get them involved in sports, pageants, dance, work, practices, you name it. Then we have the busyness of our lives as adults and our pass times. What time is left?
According to the God’s word, what does it matter if we gain the world, yet lose our souls? With all that we do, where is God and the spiritual growth and education of our children? As I said, the majority of so called “Christ followers” only attend 50% of Sundays and by no means are they involved on Wednesdays. Our children may be getting an average of 4 to 6 hours of spiritual teaching a month. Can we see the problem with this? Can we see how we are spreading this disease? What do we expect children and teens to do, when we are teaching them that everything else is more important than God? They will leave the church. They will leave God. And this disease will spread even faster.
So what can we do? What is the answer to this problem? What is the cure? It’s simple. It is more of God and less of this world. It is more of His word, more time with Him, more time with His followers, and more time in His teaching and works. As a church, as Christ followers, let’s end this rampant outbreak of apathy before it is too late. Let’s be cured of apathy by reading the word, spending time with Him, praying, being reverent, and getting right with God. A simple cure is to “Abide in Him.”
God bless all of you.
Thanks Brother and as always lets ask ourselves: Does this touch us somewhere we are at in our own walk? Can we get back to a place of passion? Why have we allowed this kind of apathy to go on in the body of Christ?