Apathy and Indifference
By Dr. Bascom Ratliff
Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana United Methodist Churches
I am beginning to be worried that I may be taking God for granted. I have begun to believe that many of the commandments, rules, and laws that God has set forth in the Bible don’t apply to me. At times, I have become indifferent and apathetic toward prayer, devotions, and church. I am not sure why this is happening, but it had been brought to my attention that my enthusiasm and service to the Lord leaves much to be desired.
After being confronted by my friend about my indifference, I thought it best to take a sound look at how I use my time and how I nourish my relationships. This past week has been a challenge for me. In the end, I have had to admit that my friend was correct. I have been shortchanging God and the church. Too much of my time and resources have been used for selfish gratification. I have leaned too heavily on God’s good graces. My apathy and withdrawal have become my sins of omission.
Praise God, I am working to get back on track with my prayer and study. I have asked for forgiveness and I believe that God will forgive my sin and open my heart to doing His will. I am in the process of reading and reflecting on the passages that I have avoided for so long, especially those that deal with giving to the church and loving my neighbor. I have abolished the destructive attitude in my mind that I don’t really have to share with others. I am working on being less critical of my neighbors, especially those who are not attending or contributing to the work of the church. I am, with God’s help, working to repair my damaged relationships and once again focus on the unfailing love of Jesus Christ.
At the risk of sounding a bit hypocritical, I challenge those who are reading this article to do a quick inventory of your attitudes and values concerning God, devotions, and giving. Do you believe that what you have in terms of money, property, and stuff is solely due to your hard work. Are you giving God any credit for the “good” in your life?
The challenge this week is eliminate apathy, indifference, and indecisiveness from our lives. It is time to love God and others with a passion that is befitting our life in Christ. It is time to renew that commitment to do good and to love God. Also, it is time to renew our commitment to attend church and praise God for all the blessings we have received. I sincerely believe that investing in regular worship with a community of believers and sharing our resources with God and others, will reap benefits far beyond our hopes and imagination. God has promised this. God has also demanded that we go “all in” in our service and worship.
This month, I have renewed my commitment to serve a living and loving God. I ask you, my faithful readers, to do the same. Make that strong commitment to serve Christ with passion and praise. And challenge God to fulfill his promise to us of a bountiful and rich harvest. Make it a point to go to church this Sunday and thank God for all the many blessings in your life.
If you want to hear more about God’s wonderful promise of unfailing love and enjoy a great morning of music and worship, come visit us at the Parker, Kansas, United Methodist Church during September. We will worship at the Beagle UMC in October and the Fontana UMC in November. All services are at 10 a.m. We’ll be sure to give you a warm welcome, a hot cup of coffee, and the best seats in the house.