Jesus called us to care and serve the world. Like the Priest and the Levite, we find it much easier to cross the road and avoid those hurting around us. Why are we so apathetic to those needs?
The volume of information we’re exposed to is overwhelming. For example, if you’re going through your social media feed at any given time, you might read about an earthquake in Asia, a cat in Iowa fell into a hole, a car bombing in the Middle East, your friend is doing a gofundme fundraiser for a 12-year-old that needs surgery, and somebody saw the face of Jesus in their French Toast. It’s difficult to care when there are so many things to care about. We’re exposed to tragedies all the time. It’s just another tragedy, another thing to be outraged about, another tornado, another bombing, and it’s so difficult to care.
We feel helpless to make a difference. The truth is many of us do care about what we see and we’d like to do something but we’re thinking, “Who am I? I’m only one person. How can I make a difference? Besides, I’m just trying to pass the class. I’m just trying to pay the bills and keep my job. I’m just trying to get my 2-year-old potty trained. Whatever it is, I really do care but I don’t think I can make that big of a difference.”
We’re blessed and cursed with comfort. We’re blessed with comfort in that most of us can order a pizza from our mobile device and have it delivered within thirty minutes. I talked to Alexa last week and ordered a pair of shoes. “Alexa, send me new dress shows.” She replied, “Based on your ordering preference, you might like these.” “Yes, Alexa.” Within two days, Amazon Prime will deliver them to my door. That’s amazing! You can binge watch your favorite show on Netflix but get grumpy when your wi-fi buffers. We’re blessed and cursed with comfort because what’s so difficult is the more comfortable our lives become, the more life tends to be about us. The more self-centered we are, the more self-focused we are. Comfort is like a drug. When we get a little bit of it, we want a little bit more of it and a little bit more of it. Befpore long, as Christians, we’re actually trying to leverage God as the god who gets us what we want. “I want to go to a church that makes me feel comfortable, where I don’t have to do too much, where they don’t make me feel guilty. I want a god who makes my headaches go away and makes my bank account go up. I don’t want to hurt. I don’t want to suffer. God, I want you to do whatever it takes to make me more comfortable because we’re blessed and cursed with comfort. Life is all about me.”
How do we overcome this incredibly repulsive attitude of apathy? My two quick ideas are #1, Find something to be passionate about. One way to eliminate a general apathy in life is to be passionate about something, anything, a hobby, a pursuit, something that is bigger than just you and your own wants and your own stuff.
#2, a much bigger idea, think through the reality of what Jesus did and your identity in Christ. The realization of exactly how much Jesus loves us and the extent to which He demonstrated that, should shake any apathy out of us.