Reject Apathy

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” Revelation 3:14-18

“The paradox of apathy” Professor of Theology Uche Anizor writes, “is that we are captivated by the things we don’t care about and are lukewarm to the things that, in our heart of hearts, mean the most to us. We don’t act on what we should act on, but we are awakened to things we should probably ignore.”

For those unfamiliar with the word, apathy is defined as “a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern” (Oxford Languages). More and more I find that when it comes to religion, people I know are apathetic at best. I’ll get to it when I get to it or I just don’t see the point are phrases I hear from friends and acquaintances all the time. And yet sometimes apathy finds itself even affecting people who would consider themselves followers of Jesus.

Paul’s letter to the church of Laodicea in Revelation deals with this exact subject. In it, he writes that the Church of Laodicea has grown lukewarm in their faith, to the point that Jesus himself says “I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Yikes! The church has grown apathetic because they’ve found security in their wealth and abundance, and instead of remembering their desperate need for Jesus.

We often do the same. Most of us have so much that if we’re not careful, we will let our security in the things we possess keep us from really encountering the life we are meant to find only in Jesus.

Apathy is a silent, destructive force, yet verse 19 tells us exactly how to keep our hearts from this numbness: “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.”

God desires us to be earnest, genuine, and honest. When our hearts feel lukewarm, we can tell Jesus and know that He loves and forgives us. We can pray for a heart that longs for Him to be the greatest priority of our lives. Just like the father in Mark 9:23-25, we can pray “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” and trust that Jesus hears us and will come to help us love Him more.

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