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The Cure for Apathy

Over the last few months I've had some terrific conversations with God and friends. Most of these conversations have centered around who God has made me and what my responsibility to Him is regarding the life He's given.

In one such conversation a few weeks ago I had a dear friend tell me "Tally... well this all makes sense as it relates to the people who have brought you so-called problems in the past. You don't have much desire to tolerate people who complain when they have so much more than they realize. Your life has seen up close the people who have real problems..."

We continued our discussion but that line has bounced around in the chambers of my mind since that phone call. He was absolutely right. I have just about zero tolerance for people who claim to know the Living God but who show no real evidence of it in their lives. They are apathetic.

Apathy. It affects just about every church in the West and some Pastors are actually aware and are looking for a cure. The only cure I have found is to place the disciple front and center with "the least of these".

The problem with apathy is more than a problem of morale or excitement. Its more than an issue of how many people show up to a given 'event'. Apathy tends to run much deeper. An apathetic person can often times be the person who sets up chairs for the portable church, runs the sound board or leads your band on Sunday. Apathy can creep into the pulpit and elder meetings just as quickly.

According to Matthew 25 however, God doesn't show us that what matters is what you do around your Pastor or how you 'help the church' on the weekend. God looks at how we are when we feel like no one else is looking. As Pastors we give a hall pass to the immature simply because they will serve for or around us. Assuming a person's heart based on what they do for the Sunday organization can often lead to ignoring spirutal cancer right in front of our eyes.

Look at Matthew 25:

The first illustration asks: What is your sense of urgency in your diligence for the Lord knowing that He could return at any moment?

The second illustration asks not only how eager you are working but also: How are you leveraging all that God has given for His benefit?

The last illustration in this passage appears to sum up some of the aspects above as it relates to real people in real life situations. Do you know if you're apathetic? What are you doing for the poor, the thirsty, the down-trodden, homeless, etc.? When the rubber meets the road how has the gospel changed your outlook and actions toward others around you?

I found it interesting that neither group knew what the Lord was talking about regarding their actions. This shows me that their motive was not 'works based'. Their motive wasn't "Let me find someone beneath me so that the Lord will see my work and think I'm a better follower." The motive was a transformed life.

Both groups ask the same basic question: 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

Apathy leads us to become that group of people who view our faith in terms of what we say in a so-called 'prayer' that really wasn't from the heart to begin with. Apathy is what leads us to being people whom God observes from afar and sees us with a HUGE disconnect between what we verbalize before one another but we practice with no one whom we don't know.
So again... what is the cure for apathy? I believe the cure is to place yourself on a regular basis around the 'least of these' in our world.

The point is not to change a pattern of behavior in hopes to get a gold star from God... The point is our behavior is tranformed when we sincerely view ourselves as a 'living sacrafice, holy and pleasing to God." We in Christendom must determine to become consumed by the Spirit of God and give your being over to His will. There is nothing apathetic found in the Spirit of the Living God who is actively working out his plan for creation and seeing people come to Him all over the world.

'Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven."

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Friday, April 11, 2008


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