I have a confession to make: I can be flaky. Not with school or work or things that I think “really” matter, but with unwritten commitments, coffee dates with friends, group hangouts. Part of my flakiness is due to my introversion (I love when other people cancel plans!), but part is due to my noncommittal attitude. I don’t want to commit to a school until I’ve considered them all. I’m hesitant to take a job because a better offer might come along. I change outfits until I found the exact right one. I can’t even commit to throw pillows for my couch for more than a year.
I know I’m not alone – flakiness runs rampant in my generation. Flakiness takes great pleasure in the company of its older brother, apathy. The Lord has another word for it: lukewarm. Ah, there’s our nice “church-y” word:
“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 – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16.
The things I mentioned above are mostly trivial, unimportant things. Seriously, it does not matter what my throw pillows look like. But if I don’t watch myself, my flakiness can morph into apathy in my relationships with the Father and His people.
Let’s see if any of these sound familiar to you:
- We go to the church building but we aren’t the church outside the building.
- We sit in pews next to our brothers and sisters and know nothing substantial about their joys, trials, or struggles – but we know where they want to eat Sunday lunch.
- We hear a stirring sermon and sing moving songs and walk out on Sunday and talk to no one about the wonderful, saving news of Jesus during the week.
- We go to church Sunday morning but really don’t see the point in going Sunday night or Wednesday night.
- We talk to our church friends Sunday morning but our “real friends” are the ones we spend Saturday night with, and we want to keep it that way.
- We study discipleship and evangelism in Sunday school, we talk about it in small groups, we think about ways to do it – and then we go home and don’t think about it until the next Sunday class.
- We talk to visitors at church but don’t welcome them in our existing circle.
- We realize the importance of cheerful, sacrificial giving, but we only give up things that don’t hurt.
- We serve when other people can see.
- We are comfortable in our lifestyles and our current friendships.
- We operate from the dangerous, fundamental belief that: “I am rich. I have acquired wealth and don’t need a thing.” (Rev. 3:17)
- We don’t seek to deepen spiritual friendships.
- We don’t seek to widen the fold of God.
Do any of those sound familiar?
Friends, there are things we can be apathetic about – the color to paint the walls, where to eat for lunch, Peeta or Gale, the Superbowl (or is that just me?) – but eternity is not one of those things. We are either madly consumed with Jesus, or we are denying Him. We may think there’s an in-between, but He doesn’t.
There is no room for apathy about eternity.
If you struggle with apathy towards God, the church, friendships, unbelievers, injustice, poverty, oppression, evangelism, spiritual disciplines, or Sunday morning, I have good news for you:
“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne.” (Rev. 3:19-21)