What is apathy? Webster’s dictionary defines apathy like this
1: lack of feeling or emotion : impassiveness
I would define it as simply caring more about nothing than anything. I know that sounds a little redundant, but allow me to continue. Or not…you are free to navigate away 🙂
Apathy is an absolute disinterest in everything, or in some cases, a specific cause or…thing. An example is being able to look at the stories on the news, truly heart-rending cases of pain and suffering, and not be moved at all. Apathy is driving by that homeless guy on the corner and not being bothered by a thought of compassion or charity.
Apathy is not hatred. Hatred shows some sense of interest. So does annoyance, disgust, boredom,etc. Those are emotions. Those can change.
I have always been interested in charity and in mission work, so maybe that colors my perspective of the apathetic. I simply cannot fathom looking at those people around the world that have less, far less, than even I do and not caring. Not wondering what I could do to help. I cannot understand the mindset of the man who looks at a homeless person and says to himself, “oh well.” I am infuriated by the person who hears of the tragic killings in Africa or the still-struggling Japanese, or even of the poverty in India and doesn’t register a single emotional response. I don’t get it. How can someone simply not care?
My next question is where does this come from? What makes a person feel, or not feel if you will, this way? How can someone simply not care about others?
Could it be their upbringing? Were they not raised to show or comprehend empathy? Is their life really so bad that they feel it overshadows the plight of anyone else and does not warrant their concern? Is it just a result of sociopathic tendencies?
But…the only answer is our sinfulness. Our God is love, all-encompassing, complete, total, unimaginable LOVE. With love comes concern, a caring heart, compassion, all of these adverbs that are the polar opposite of apathy. So, it stands to reason (maybe) that our apathy, and we all deal with it somewhere, is a direct result of being sinful from birth. To some, that may make you feel even more hopeless, but fear not, Christ’s death and resurrection has bridged the gap between perfect and flawed, between spotless and filthy, between polished and tarnished, between heaven and hell, between infinity and the finite, between man and God. Because of that tortuous, humiliating death on Calvary, we are freed from sin. We are no longer forced to wear the chains of our imperfections. We are, in fact, “slaves to righteousness.” (Romans 6:18b)
So…how do we combat apathy? Is it possible to be filled with compassion for our fellow man despite our “natural” inclination to just not care? Of course! Christ was very clear that He would be with us always as we go through this life. Christ is the epitome of caring. Time and time again, the Bible speaks of Christ being moved in His inmost being (the English word is “compassion”) for people. I am told that the Greek word literally translates to the feeling Christ had as “gut-wrenching.” Christ’s love for all made Him hurt…literally. So, it would stand to reason that He can instill this same love in us. Through Him, and Him alone, we can find the strength and power to overcome this part of our sinful nature. Christ tells us that all we have to do is ask and we will be blessed.
So…to end my rant, that is my prayer for you. That God molds and mends (y)our sinful, apathetic, disconnected heart that it may truly glorify Him above ALL things. Pray that He shows you His will and His way and gives you a heart that feels for people. His people. I also pray that this feeling goes beyond…feeling. I pray that it translates into action, that all my see your love….Christ’s love.
Until the next one–