What is it?
Apathy is a lack of feeling, emotion, interest, excitement, motivation, passion or concern about something of great importance.
Apathy is something all of us feel at times. It’s often a feature in our stressful and busy lives, a big problem of our times. It’s a natural response to disappointment, stress, not feeling good enough or like you will fail to achieve a goal. In fact, as a response, apathy is a way to forget about these negative feelings, about everything really. Including what’s worthwhile like God and His word.
Here’s some of the things that can bring on feelings of apathy. Busy, stressed, tired, doing too much, overloading your brain by consuming too much pointless content and information in this “information age”, flicking past all the people on social media that are cooler, more successful and better looking making you feel worthless… the list goes on and on.
Feeling apathetic isn’t a sin though. But not doing anything about it is not good enough. So what can we do about it? Don’t give in to it. Easy to write. Hard to do but the key is to persevere in something worthwhile. If apathy is a lack of ‘concern about something of great importance’ then the key is to find something of great importance and to persevere with it. For me God and His word is that thing of great importance.
In many ways perseverance is the opposite of apathy. Check out some of the synonyms of persevere. Carry on, not give up, struggle on, be persistent, be determined, stand firm, hold on, go the distance, plod on, grind away.
You would expect that the Bible would have something to say about all this. It does – a lot. For now I’m only going to look at one passage though. In the Message Bible Hebrews 12 has the sub heading “Discipline in a Long-Distance Race” and reads this way:
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
Hebrews 12:1-3 (The Message)