Spiritual Apathy

Apathy refers to a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. It’s OK to be apathetic about some things in life but in other areas it’s dangerous.

There’s no problem if a wife is apathetic about sports or a husband is apathetic about shopping for shoes. It is a problem, however if she is apathetic about taking her blood pressure medicine or he about wearing his safety helmet on the construction site.

Apathy in life isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but in the Christian life apathy is never a good thing. It was apparently epidemic in the church in Laodicea and they were severely chastised by God (Revelation 3:14f).

Unfortunately, many Christians suffer from the sickness of spiritual apathy.

It is one of the most ignored problems in the church today. We’ve reached a spiritual low where we’re just happy if people show up on Sunday morning for an hour. They don’t have to DO anything, just be there and we’re good with that.

The problem is that you can have a full church of apathetic people. Church attendance alone is not an indication of a vibrant, connected, ministering church.

The malaise of spiritual apathy is far more dangerous than we recognize. At its core it’s a heart condition. Life is lived by the dictates of the heart (Proverbs 4:23). If you find yourself uninterested, unenthusiastic, or unconcerned about spiritual things it’s because your heart has fallen into an apathetic state.

Rarely, if ever, does spiritual apathy 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.

Spiritually apathetic Christians rarely admit it, either because they are spiritually blind to their own condition or because of the hardness of their hearts. But make no mistake about it, spiritual apathy will damage your Christian life as much as any outward sin.

That’s why it is imperative to maintain a connection in Christ (John 15). Because the alternative is to slowly dry up and become useless to the Kingdom of God.

The key is to guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23), or to keep it with all diligence (NKJB). Because once the heart falls, the rest of life will be close behind.

Stay in the Word

Pastor Steve

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