As Christians, many of us fall into the trap of taking God’s love for granted. When this happens, it’s easy to lose the passion for being in and strengthening our relationship with God. Spiritual apathy is defined as coldness or indifference to the things of God. Spiritual apathy can affect any Christian, including the sincerest believers. Let’s look at David’s life in the Bible. He was influenced by spiritual apathy because of sin. When he did sin, he felt separated from God. Psalm 51:11 says, “Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.” When David confesses his sin to God, He asks God directly for a renewed and steadfast spirit.
Feelings of apathy or disinterest in God can take the place of the enthusiasm we once felt for God and everything about our faith. We must overcome spiritual apathy if we want to continue our walk with God. There are some good ways to address spiritual apathy, but there are also some bad ways. Pastors and church members often make these mistakes. Often, these behaviors and attitudes come off like there is little care about the issues that are going on, which can be even more damaging. Here are five wrong ways to address spiritual apathy.
Not acknowledging the apathy.
Apathy must be addressed. Too often, the issues at hand separating someone from God aren’t addressed, and it comes off like the apathy they are experiencing doesn’t matter. The spiritually apathetic person should go back to a time and place where they sensed the closeness and presence of Jesus. Next, they should confess the sin to God. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Finally, the spiritually apathetic person needs to renew their commitment to the Lord. This doesn’t mean just serving Jesus but knowing Him intimately and being in fellowship with Him.
Making jokes or being lighthearted about the apathy.
Another mistake that some Christians make when it comes to apathy is joking or being lighthearted about the spiritually apathetic person. This may look like your pastor making jokes about your absence from church or challenging a person who is struggling with apathy to get more involved. There’s nothing worse than guilting someone into worship. Congregants should be encouraged to worship because they feel called and Spirit-led. Anyone struggling with apathy shouldn’t be taken as a joke, but seriously.
Not dealing with sin.
While holding onto sin isn’t always why a person is distant from God, it can be. Sometimes, our sin and poor habits creep into our lives. When we give our heart over to sin, we will struggle to keep a solid relationship with God. There’s also a way sin can make us feel like doing things that separate us from God. We may not realize it at the moment, but these things may be pulling us even further from God than we ever realized. If you’re struggling with spiritual apathy, take control of the things you allow into your life. If something is separating you from God right now, make those adjustments. Therefore, it’s so vital that we keep a close eye on ourselves. There is nobody that isn’t susceptible to temptation. Don’t allow the enemy to take control of your heart.
Not figuring out what you’re passionate about.
One of the big reasons for spiritual apathy and lack of motivation inside and outside the church is not figuring out your passions. Many Christians haven’t figured out their calling and how their passions connect with God’s mission for their lives. Churches must be aware of the gifts, talents and passions of those worshipping at the church. Often, people are only called to assist with things like Bible study and Sunday morning worship, none of which are wrong to be involved in, but there may be some missed opportunities when people are only approached in those areas. Someone at your church may be a social media guru and could really help with community outreach. There also may be someone who has the gift of music, which would be a great fit for the music ministry. Find out what areas really speak to members of the congregation and encourage those.
Give up when your mind is telling you to.
One of the biggest mistakes of those battling spiritual apathy is giving up. They feel disconnected from God, and they don’t challenge it. You must fight back against this. While the apathy will try to get you to pull away from God, we can’t allow it to take over. It gets challenging when you’re aware of the spiritual apathy, you’re trying to fight back, and you don’t see the transformation taking place in your life yet. This can be incredibly discouraging, but we need to remember that God is always on time. Believe in God and trust in the course that you are on. It may be making way for a powerful testimony. Galatians 6:9 reminds us, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap If we do not give up.” This is the encouragement Paul offers when we feel like giving up. Stay encouraged!
There is nothing satan loves more than spiritual apathy. Therefore we should keep our eyes open to the enemy and the schemes he uses to try to pull us away from God. If you feel like you are drifting away from God, you can still call on Him to pull you back in. The wonderful thing about God is He can set your heart ablaze instantly. Never lose hope in the power of God and how He can transform your heart again.