Last Sunday, our preacher had a sermon on apathy. For those that aren’t sure, here’s a definition of apathy:
lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.
“widespread apathy among students”
synonyms: indifference, lack of interest, lack of enthusiasm, lack of concern, unconcern, uninterestedness, unresponsiveness, impassivity, dispassion, lethargy, languor
For our particular sermon, Brother Vick approached it from the aspect of how it can hurt both the church and the Christian. In the church, you become complacent with where you are, what you’re doing. You’re fine with coming in, sitting in your same old seat, listening to the sermon, getting up and leaving. You don’t strive to do anything else. When in reality, what you need to do is interact, get out of your comfort zone, grow. Have fellowship, shake hands, attend church functions, participate in classes or groups. Perhaps the biggest of all the points, you stop showing up regularly. You might come Sunday morning, but Sunday night you just don’t feel like it, or Wednesday you’ve just worked too hard and think you’ll skip. Once you start making excuses and skipping church, it can quickly grow out of hand. Don’t be an observer, be a participant in Christ’s church.
As for how it can affect you individually, he discussed how we grow confident in what we already know. I’m paraphrasing a bit, so don’t blame him if I accidentally mix up my words at some point. But you start to slack off of your Bible reading, you don’t put as much time into studying Scripture and learning so you can grow as a Christian. You start praying less. You may start attending church less. Associating with fellow Christians as a support group less.
In short, I took this message personally because there are days when I don’t feel like reading my Bible, or studying a passage. Yet, I’ll plop down in a chair and play a video game or watch a mindless television show. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with either of those things – and I don’t plan on giving either of them up – but the truth is I feel better when I choose to read my Bible or study Scripture. That may sound odd to someone who doesn’t get it, but it’s true.
Overall, I enjoyed and took a lot away from the sermon on apathy. One thing I did find myself having an issue with was a segment he threw in there about how a Christian filled with the Spirit is suppose to act and present themselves. They’re suppose to smile, be joyous, energetic, positive, excited and speak out!
Friends, I’ve never been that way in my entire life. I’m just a reserved person, quiet, I’ve always been one to keep to myself. But this news revealed through Brother Vick’s sermon Sunday tells me I need to be the exact opposite of what I’ve always been just because I’m a Christian. Is this true? Must I suddenly become a jubilant social butterfly fluttering from moment to moment? I’m not sure if I can do that, and I’m a little hesitant to believe that’s what all Christians are suppose to be like.
My own personal experience as a new Christian is that I can already feel the difference inside me. I do smile more, I do talk more. I do present myself as a more friendly and courteous person to people. I talk lighter, avoid negative discussion and try to steer clear of gossip. My inner light may not shine as bright as others, but it’s got a pretty warm glow going on compared to how I used to be before accepting Jesus Christ as my savior and being baptized and trying to walk the narrow path.
Now, as an aside, I admit that I have known people like this in my past. One in particular comes to mind. When I first joined the work force back in 1994, right before graduating high school. His name was Les and he was my department manager. He was full of the Holy Spirit. He loved everyone, never had a bad day, was energetic, excited, loved to spread the Word and talk about Jesus and God. He was everything Brother Vick told us a Christian should be. So, if I’ve only met, in 39 years, 3 people who meet those qualifications … I think there may be a problem somewhere.
If there are any fellow Christians reading this, what are your thoughts on how a Christian should present themselves to the public? I understand we’re representatives of Christ and his church, but must we be exploding with energy and jumping around? Am I a bad Christian and not committing myself enough because I’m not one of those people?