Living in a world of upheaval, I have been continually bombarded by apathy, an obstruction that many Christians struggle with everyday. A wise man once said, "If you wanted to focus on the bad, it would be easy. There is plenty of it. But you don't have to go around looking for it." I understood immediately what he meant. News media has had the "find the bad" front covered for years.
But I didn't immediately realize what a problem this was for Christians today. Apathy, in as far as I can tell, comes from feeling that the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against you. Why care if your viewpoint, your beliefs, your principles and priorities don't really matter to anyone else? Why fight when you know you will lose? The unwillingness to fight is logical really, a direct result of looking for the bad and knowing it to be bigger than you. So fear turns to apathy.
And what starts as apathy threatens to destroy the church. It's a lack of faith, an obvious removal of hope, and it bleeds through a congregation, seeping into every aspect of their lives. It is subtle, allowing Christians to give in small areas without a guilty conscience. And soon, apathy has sapped the fight right out of them. I once heard a good Christian friend of mine say, "Oh, I can't put a Christian fish symbol on MY car.
I drive way too fast." When I asked why he doesn't simply drive the speed limit, he said it wasn't that big of a deal. But I believe it is.
I have come to realize that fighting apathy involves faith, and faith is about remembering our hope. Christ was able to do the impossible (go willingly to the cross) for that very hope. Christ, being God himself and having seen that hope firsthand, was willing to walk through derision, laughter, torture, and eventually death simply because He knew something greater was coming. And it is the joy behind that hope that gave Him strength. I know that many Christians, including myself, have forgotten how to stand out in faith. forgotten what our hope is.
And I also know that, if we remembered, we would discover that apathy has no place amongst us. For what is apathy but a poison that slowly takes down our defenses and corrupts our faith? Don't believe me? Let's look at today's faithful. I was once told that, if everyone who claimed to believe in God truly believed without doubting, they would act so differently that the world would stand up and take notice.
Their lifestyles would change, their attitudes would change, and the way they did business would change. They would act as Christ acted, and the world would know it. But apathy has made faith a matter of words.
And many Christians have forgotten that just saying the words is not enough; it's your actions that really tell others what you believe. And it is action that is required. How does a Christian fight apathy? A Christian chooses hope, the hope that Christ knew was enough, and steps out in REAL faith. One of the first decisions I made as a hope-filled Christian was to put on a Christian t-shirt.
Okay, it might sound cheesy, but that day I was a walking billboard. I was extra careful in my actions and reactions to others. My driving improved dramatically, and my tone was more respectful.
Why? Because I was choosing to align myself with Christ, purposefully telling others of my affiliation. And you know what? I acted without apathy that day. So take action.
If you truly have faith, then look to the hope that is coming. Put on that Christian t-shirt or affix that Christian fish to your car. Help in local shelters and volunteer for community projects. And when you do so, understand that you represent Christ. Take it seriously, and become a force that will make the world stand up and take notice. And remember, "Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
When Bethany Chastain became a Christian, she wanted to share her faith and not become apathetic to the ways of Christ. So, she began looking for Christian shoes and other Christian apparel that could proclaim to the world that she belonged to God. Today, she shops C28 for her whole family, buying Christian clothing and Christian Hoodies.