Webster defines apathy as “a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.” The original Greek defines it as “without feeling or suffering.”
On first glance, apathy doesn’t seem like it should be concerning.
I mean, who doesn’t want to be without suffering or even feeling sometimes? At times, it can be easier to move through life without letting ourselves feel anything, rather than opening ourselves up to allow vulnerability and potential hurt.
However, going deeper into it, apathy can be very destructive.
It goes beyond protecting one’s self against vulnerability, but is an emotion that can create havoc in the very heart of your relationship with God.
I have experienced apathy many times in my Christian walk, and know that I will face it again.
Why do I know that? Because I know myself. I know that I lack the capacity to be a perfect woman who constantly seeks God, and constantly seeks His good for my life. It’s inherently part of my, and your, human condition.
We lack the ability to be “perfect Christians.” That idea in itself is quite flawed because if we had the ability to be perfect Christians it would eliminate the need for a Savior.
I think it is a safe bet to assume that most of us have experienced a time or season of apathy.
Apathy is a part of the human condition especially, at times, concerning God.
For me, it can often be laziness, and simply not wanting to put in the work with God.
An apathetic Christian is one who has “fallen asleep” in a sense.
The song “Wake Up” by All Sons and Daughters says it well,
Wake up, wake up, all you sleepers
Stand up, stand up all you dreamers
Hands up all believers
Take up your cross and carry it on
Apathy causes a “sleepiness” in your soul and it leads to a place without feeling.
The Christian walk is so much more than moving through life, through the motions of Christianity. It is a daily choice to pick up your cross and follow after Jesus. The journey is not meant to be done in your own strength, but in His.
I can recognize that apathy finds its way into my heart as soon as I begin to look away from God and seek to work within my own strength.
As soon as I let feelings or lack thereof take over my heart is when apathy plants itself.
Feelings then dictate every aspect of life.
“I don’t feel like going to church, or I just don’t feel like God is there.”
As if my feelings are meant to dictate my actions towards Christ, because spoiler alert: feelings do not get to dictate my life.
And they shouldn’t.
But if I’m honest, sometimes they do in so many ways, such as marriage, friendships, the way I view God, and frankly, the way I *think* He views me.
Apathy has a way of making your heart feel as if God views you differently.
Thankfully, and graciously, that is completely untrue.
Hear that part again.
God does not view me differently when I’m apathetic, but rather, I view Him differently.
I assume that through my lack of “feeling it” that He mirrors those feelings back and views me through the same apathetic lens.
But again, that is a false idea.
God’s view of me does not change. His view of you, does not change.
I’ve preached this to myself often, and will continue to do so: “The Father’s love is not contingent on my feelings that I have about myself and how I understand and view the person I am.”
Even when I am experiencing a season of apathy.
Even when I lack feelings.
Even when I have too many feelings.
Even when I fail and struggle.
God’s view of us does not waver.
Isn’t that the best news?
When you really examine the meaning behind those statements. To know you’re fully known and also fully loved is beyond comprehension and should knock the wind out of us when we truly begin to understand.
God the Father’s love is not contingent on anything that we do or don’t do. It’s not contingent on what we feel or do not feel.
1 John 4:19 tells us, “We love because He first loved us.”
And Ephesians 2:4-5 says, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved...”
We haven’t done anything to deserve the love of God, but still He loves us.
He loved us first.
God is bigger than anything that we could ever feel, or experience.
His desire is for us to turn to Him when we face difficulty. That’s certainly easier said than done, but the good thing is that we do not have to face anything alone. I implore you to seek Him first, even in the same pains, even in the same struggles. Even when you’ve come to Him a thousand times with the same pain, He will never turn you away and will never grow tired of carrying you through it.
Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-29, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
So come to Him today, seek Him today. Let your hearts hear the truth of Jesus’ words.
“Take His yoke upon you and find rest for your souls.”
~ Beki Darpli