discussion

Coffee Chat 2 – Combating Apathy

coffee chat

I love a good discussion with a friend over a steaming cup of chai, but since I can’t gather all of you at a comfortable cafe, I’ll have to be content with this little corner of the Internet.

For this second symposia, I’d love to hear your thoughts about combating apathy.

Apathy: indifference to someone or something.

Sometimes I have been so caught up in my own little bubble that I unthinkingly approach important things (i.e. worship, the church, prayer, my bible study) as just another box on my checklist. In fact, there are times when I have just been in check-off mode. Get it done. Check the box. Next?

We are supposed to shine as lights in the World, reflecting the glory of Christ. If we approach our faith with apathy, we are like an ember on a burnt out candle close to being snuffed out. How can we keep our lamp brightly lit?

I am interested to hear how you stay zealous for the Lord and the work He has called us to do.

Please leave a comment below while you sip on your favorite cup of tea or coffee!

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13 thoughts on “Coffee Chat 2 – Combating Apathy

  1. I’m not sure if this answers your question or not but I have found that picking a very specific BLOCK of my day to talk with God, read or just ponder his word works well and I rarely find myself trying to rush through it.

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    1. Woody, I think during those times we lose interest, we’ve stopped dedicating our time consistently. We may attend worship regularly—or semi-regularly—but we don’t carry on spending time with God the other 6 days of the week. Consistent times of prayer, study and meditation—as you are referring to—can keep us from becoming totally apathetic. Thanks for coming Woody!

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  2. Well, first of all, I have to be honest and say that I have had seasons of coasting in my life, where I think I took what I have in Christ for granted. Over the years, I have learned the great importance of finding a church you can throw yourself into, being faithful in attendance, in prayer and Bible study, developing relationships where you are encouraged in your faith and can be real with a small group of people who love and accept you for who you are, and of course being honest with God and asking Him to help me with my struggles too. That’s my contribution in a nutshell. 🙂

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    1. I think we all have those coasting seasons. Finding a strong group of believers can make a huge difference in your enthusiasm and dedication. I understand this well. A group that is apathetic on the whole can spread that apathy like the measles. Conversely an enthusiastic group can light the fire under the weak!

      Thank you for your valuable insight. 😊

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  3. My pleasure. I would also like to add that the times I have had people pray (really pray) over me has also made a huge difference in my life. It is like pulling me out of the “miry clay” and planting my feet on solid ground again. What would we do without the support of our brothers and sisters in Christ? We need each other.

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  4. I always like to look at nature to help ground me. His creation is so marvelous and shows His handiwork, that when I am struggling with the mundane day to day, if I look up and out to nature I remember who created it and how serving Him really is my purpose.

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    1. I’m so glad you brought that up! I was out walking a few days ago and the sky was full of puffy clouds. I looked straight up and was suddenly struck by how tiny I was and how big God is. It does cause one to pause.

      Thank you Lisa!

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  5. I also think daily Bible study and prayer are important to keeping our relationship with God a priority. I recently did a bible study on the book of Acts after contemplating my own apathy towards worship. I knew I was sporting a spiritual ‘tude of sorts and bothered that I had become stagnant. Studying the book reminded me of and allowed me to focus on the faith of those who lived in a time of great persecution; about the changes it caused; how they had to make it number one, even to the point of certain death. It made me do a lot of self examination about my own faith. I believe daily bible study puts our mind into a thoughtful process; a direction that we otherwise rob ourselves of as believers when we pass on it. If we’re not including daily reading and prayer to God then we’re putting our passion on something else which won’t help keep us strong in our own challenges and persecution. When I do read the scriptures daily, prayer comes easier to me as well. I think they go hand in hand.

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    1. Wow! I’ve studied Acts more times than I can count and that aspect never really jumped out at me until I read your comment. Truly, they were very zealous for the Lord and the persecution only made them stronger. It forced them to decide what was really important.

      I too have found that daily reading and daily prayer are great privileges and aids.

      Thank you, Jay! Excellent insights. 😀

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  6. Self-awareness and mindfulness is always a big help. Any task that we do, that we’re used to, can become something we do automatically and is therefore a breeding ground for apathy. So for me it’s taking even just a few seconds before church/prayer time/Bible study/whatever it is to say to God, “I am here. I am willfully pushing distractions away. I am putting all of me in this moment.” To sort of speak to myself and to God about where I am, and where my intentions are, and where they ought to be. Doing that sometimes “snaps me out of it,” if that makes sense.

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    1. It does make sense. We have to will ourselves to be fully present. I am so easily distracted, I should start taking time to do this. I appreciate your comment!

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  7. I am typing this out on my phone so I am going to be brief in the comment and won’t do justice to the scriptures that have helped me when I feel apathy towards our great and awesome God but will try to do my best 🙂
    Reading your post immediately made me think of a lesson my husband did about a year ago on how grace trains us. It may seem weird to bring up grace with apathy but I find when I lack emotion in my daily worship to God I am forgetting how the grace of God is suppose to train us- to train me.

    Titus 2:11-14 says “11 For the grace of God has appeared,bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

    the grace of God is suppose to teach or discipline us to deny ungodliness, worldly lust and to live SOBERLY, RIGHTEOUSLY AND GODLY LOOKING FOR….grace is teaching me to become self controlled and to pursue the right things.self control means I control my emotions rather having my emotions control me. Grace is what will discipline me to have control over myself.
    But how does grace train us…
    14 says that Jesus gave himself to redeem us. We sold ourselves into sin, satan and death by our own lawlessness. But Christ GAVE HIMSELF to buy and redeem us back and we are now His possession! We belong to Christ because he has purchased us with his own blood! Do I feel the weight of this?? As Jesus was scourged and whipped, he was offering himself up for us. He endured the cross and shame so we could be redeemed, what amazing love this is!! And he now brings a blessed hope for us so we don’t have to battle the sinful impulses and temptations and we can be in Gods presence. If I don’t appreciate the presence of him now, how will I appreciate it in heaven?

    Ezekiel 36;deut 30:6 talks about how God would take our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh and how God would circumcise our hearts so that we will love him. How are we to circumcise our hearts so that we will want to please him? Through the amazing sacrifice of His son.
    Also in vs 14 of Titus gods grace is suppose to make us zealous for good works, is my enthusiasm boiling over for The Lord?

    If I am not allowing Gods grace to train me I will be like the people in Ezekiel 16, I must not forget where I came from and start to think I accomplished everything myself.

    My husband always uses this imagery of a fountain made up of stacked cups. You have the top cup overflowing with water and it pours down to the next set of cups , grace comes out of me when I am recieving it, love comes out of me when I am recieving it, and zealousness for god comes our of me when I recieve it.

    I know this isn’t any practical ideas and may not be what you were looking for but it has helped me and continues to help me.

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    1. Samantha, what a beautiful example! Thank you for your very helpful insight. I actually never thought about grace training us, but as the scripture so clearly says, “grace instructs us.”

      Keeping the sacrifice of Christ truly before our eyes is probably one of the best motivators to stay zealous for the Word. I have learned so much from this! God be with you. 🙂

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