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By Pastor Chuck McCullough
“Many people I know are just apathetic. They don’t seem to care much about things that really matter. Does the Bible have anything to say about this?”— Kate
Scripture clearly indicates that humans are made to work and to take responsibility for their world (Gen. 1:28-30; 2:15). Solomon’s proverbs are particularly instructive (in fact, the tone of most of his proverbs is, to say the least, quite unflattering regarding those who are indolent and lazy). The “sluggard” whines and “craves” and makes excuses, but can’t get off his seat to make something happen. He sleeps in, is unreliable, can’t get or keep a job and because of his pitiful inertia, sentences himself to a slow death (Prov. 6:6-11; 10:26; 13:4; 19:24; 20:4; 21:25; 22:13; 26:13-15)!
There is another perspective to consider: the ancient Greeks called it acedia. Beyond chronic laziness, this kind of apathy constitutes a resistance to taking a position on questions of right vs. wrong, a common characteristic of contemporary ethical relativism; i.e., avoidance of making moral judgments. Obsequious tolerance; i.e., accepting every opinion as true and valid simply because it has been expressed by someone, abstaining from ethical or moral assessment, is all the more sluggardly because its practitioner thinks he is wiser and more beneficent than everyone else (Prov. 26:16).
Finally, apathy is antithetical to the spiritual calling on our lives. Jesus said, “Be alert! Be ready! Time is short!” (Mk. 13:33-37). Paul echoed this warning, instructing his readers not to fall asleep, but to rise up, get to work and make the most of the time. His inspiration for this exhortation was based in his relationship with the creative, life-giving God who made us, has purpose for us and who calls us to join Him in His work in the world (I Cor. 16:13; Eph. 5:14-16; I Thess. 5:5-11).
To send questions or to communicate with Pastor McCullough,
write to firstname.lastname@example.org.