For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. Proverbs 1:32 (NIV)
Indifference is a huge destructive influence in people’s lives.
The word indifference is defined: that which is looked upon as not mattering one way or another, that which is regarded as being of no significant importance or value.
Because of indifference, so many people don't live life to the fullest. Many never learn to care deeply about anything worthwhile.
And worse of all, God opportunities are missed and never realized.
Let me give you three symptoms of indifference.
1. Satisfaction with things the way they are - marriage, family, career, relationship with God and others; satisfied with living in the comfort zone you created and the status quo.
2. A rejection of things as they could be - Your mindset might be, “I don't like what I have but I really have little hope that it will ever change.” Or, “I just know it's going to require too much work on my part so—forget it.”
3. Apathy which means a near total lack of interest and concern about something.
Apathy drains your passions, depletes your excitement and dulls your concern.
I pray not one of these three symptoms describes you.
I believe, by the way Jesus lived, by what He taught, and by the way He preached, that He despised indifference.
Jesus rejected the middle ground. I believe God taught it as the lowest way to live. So often what we think the middle ground is not so bad. However, from God's perspective it is the lowest ground.
Revelation 3:14-16 describes the Laodicean Church.
The heading above theses verses is The Lukewarm Church.
To the angel of the church in Laodicea write... I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:14-16 (NIV)
These are strong words. Jesus is talking about those who are lukewarm — He says you'd be better off hot or better off cold, but lukewarm is never a good place to be. Indifference.
Here’s what I’ve learned about indifference
1. INDIFFERENCE WANTS IT EASY
Then he told them a story: A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God. Luke 12:16-21 (NLT)
Here's a man who just had a bumper crop. This man is doing quite well. He surveys his enormous crop and says, "Since I have no more room in my barns, I'll just tear down the barns I have and build bigger ones so I can store what I had and now what just came in.
He said, "I will store all my crops." in other words he wasn't giving anything away, he wasn't thinking about anybody else, he was not looking beyond himself.
He said, "I'll take all my crops and all my goods and I'll speak to my soul. Soul, I have enough here for myself so I can take it easy, sit back, and enjoy myself for very long time." That is the spirit of indifference!
Never, ever envy anyone who takes the easy road through life because my Bible says, “It's the complacency of the fool who will eventually destroy himself.”
2. INDIFFERENCE CAN'T FEEL
Jesus cared deeply. He was moved with compassion. He was moved to righteous anger. He was moved!
When was the last time you were moved about something?
Every time we read in the Bible that Jesus was moved with compassion, someone's life was about to change.
- In Matthew 9 Jesus wept over Jerusalem because he saw people who were weary, harassed, dejected, helpless and scattered, because they had no shepherd.
- In Matthew 21:12 Jesus became angry and cleansed the Temple from a place of business to a place of prayer so that miracles for people and nations were happening again.
- In Acts 17:16 while Paul was in Athens it says he was greatly upset because the people were given over to so many idols .
- In 2 Timothy 1:6 Paul told Timothy his spiritual son, during a difficult season of his life, to stir up the gift of God within him.
The quality of people's lives matter to God!
Indifference can't feel. Because indifference doesn't care!
If you woke up in the hospital with excruciating pain in your legs—that would be bad. But do you know what would be worse? Waking up in the hospital and not being able to feel your legs at all!
There are so many people who just don't feel anymore, some due to events that were beyond their own control. Over a process of time, these painful events caused their hearts to become calloused and hard, or so hurt that walls have been built to protect themselves from more hurt and devastation.
They don't want to feel or to care, because they learned early on that caring and feeling is often painful.
The good news is God can turn a hardened, indifferent heart into a compassionate caring heart.
And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God]. Ezekiel 11:19 (AMP)
This verse gives hope to all who suffer from indifference and that a change of heart is possible. Let's pray that we will always live our lives sensitive to God, to His Word, and to the needs of people. I don't know about you, but I am so grateful Jesus was never indifferent to my weaknesses and shortcomings.
For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. Hebrews 4:15 (AMP)
Where would we be today if Jesus just didn't care about our hopeless spiritual condition?
We are never more alive then when we allow ourselves the freedom to be moved by what moves God. What moves God? People without Jesus. Lost, hurting, hopeless people.
The greatest thief to being launched into God's great plan for your life is indifference.
The greatest thief to making a difference is indifference.
For the Kingdom of God to work in the earth, those who are a part of that Kingdom—need to care, need to love, need to feel, and need to be moved. Let that be said of all of us.