What is Spiritual Apathy and How to Overcome it
Malachi 4:2 NLT
“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings
After a trying week and not to mention a rollercoaster ride of emotions for the last few months, I decided to kindly put away my devotional and Bible.
Yes, I was quitting on God.
I was tired of seeing how God came through for others but He seemed to have forgotten about me.
I was tired of trying to be okay one day only to have something throw me over the edge the next day.
I was tired of feeling like I have been set back in life on purpose.
I was TIRED...
As I am driving home one Saturday after some retail therapy, I catch the sight of a sunflower from the corner of my eye. It stood 5 feet next to the curb of a busy street. It caught my attention.
This lonesome flower stood tall in an unsightly environment. Not in the middle of a beautiful bright sunflower field with other sunflowers, but next to a mailbox on a concrete road.
For some reason, that sunflower stuck with me.
Later that evening as I am doing my usual scroll on social media, I kid you not, I see about 5 sunflower posts- all from different people.
I think God was trying to say something (He speaks repetitively and in patterns), so I decided to research the characteristics of sunflowers.
Sunflower Fun Facts
Sunflowers stand tall and face the sun.
Sunflowers grow fast at an average of about 1 meter tall.
Sunflowers are considered weeds because they can grow next to fences, roads, and in fields.
Sunflowers are heliotropic, meaning they track the motion of the sun. This is most common in immature sunflowers and aids in growth promotion and pollination.
It literally faces the sun for its own good.
The next time you feel like quitting on God, remember that He uses hard situations to draw you closer to Him and to provide you with the growth you need. The book of Malachi details how the people of Israel grew cold towards God.
Because of the circumstance they were in, they neglected God’s love and it was depicted in their attitudes, behaviors, and worship.
What is Spiritual Apathy?
They were experiencing spiritual empathy. Spiritual empathy is a lack of interest for anything related to God that includes, reading the Bible, going to church, praying, worshipping, or fellowshipping with other Christians.
You do not have the same enthusiasm for God as you once did before.
I knew my spiritual life was declining when I neglected my routine of studying, praying, and worshipping. I just didn't "feel" like it due to circumstances that did not go as I intended and I blamed God for it. If you feel the same, you may be experiencing spiritual empathy.
I implore you to take a look into the short chapter of Malachi. Malachi is a mirror for those going through spiritual apathy. When doubts about God rise up in your soul, you will notice a lack of wholehearted devotion towards Him.
When life starts to look bad, we begin to question God’s goodness.
This is how the Israelites in the book of Malachi felt because of their situation. They questioned God's love because things around them were not as they hoped for.
The truth is God's love for you is not based on whether or not your circumstance looks good or bad.
When our feelings get in the way of realizing God's boundless love, we basically act the opposite of a sunflower. We grow cold and turn our backs towards the sun.
The book starts off with the header titled “Israel Beloved of God,” yet it details God’s rebuke towards His people such as offering imperfect sacrifices, breaking moral conduct, being unfaithful in marriages, withholding tithes and offerings, and questioning God’s judgment.
Towards the end of Malachi, God makes a pending promise. Those who fear God and remain faithful will be comforted and will be provided with healing that comes from King Jesus. God is faithful and His mercies are new every day.
The challenges that you face are intended for your good.
Just like a sunflower that can grow on the side of a road, you too can grow from the hardships of your environment if you will just face the Sun.
You can overcome spiritual apathy by realizing that God will not forsake you although you may forsake Him.
Understand that the seasons of life do not last forever. There is a time for everything. Check out the seasons of the life blog post here.
All you have to do is repent of any wrongdoing, know that God works EVERYTHING for good (even the bad), and keep going despite your feelings. You will never get anywhere in life if you let your feelings dictate your moves.
Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”