When you fully surrender to a holistic love of God and learn to take care of yourself loving your neighbor will become second nature. Read more to discover why.
Reject apathy by opening your eyes, stepping out of your comfort zone, and into your calling to serve others.
Meaning of apathy
According to Webster apathy means a lack of feeling or emotion, a lack of interest or concern. Basically, to be apathetic means you don't care.
Apathy is an easy state to fall into, but it is deadly to our faith. We convince ourselves that turning off the news and looking the other way solves our problems. But this is just not true. The ability to turn our eyes away from pain is a privilege, and it is a privilege, as Christians, we have to forgo.
Step out of your comfort zone
We naturally gravitate away from what is uncomfortable. It takes an effort to engage in new ways. But Jesus did not take the easy way out and neither should we.
Jesus spoke up for the weak, the marginalized, the outcast and for us. We must do the same.
I want to challenge you to go through your day and take a close look at your routine and conversations. Listen for the moments that make you uncomfortable. Search them out.
Start embracing the feels
Don't run from your emotions. If something or someone pulls on your heartstrings, listen to that pull. The world is full of problems, but we don't have to become overwhelmed. As we grow aware, we become wiser and learn how to better care for the world and the people who live here.
Focus on hope
You alone can not save the world. That is not your calling. Yet, we can each do small things throughout every day that heals our world rather than destroys.
Listen to those who are hurting. Really hear their story and ask what they need. Perhaps all they need is your ear. Maybe they need your help. Never assume. Be clear and ask.
Apathy kills faith, numbing us to the needs of others. It shuts us off from hearing that gentle nudging from God telling us when to act. By practicing your listening skills, you'll be more open to that nudge and more likely to be in the right place at the right time.
Make your circle bigger
Jesus did not come to earth to hole up in the synagogue and speak with those who already knew him. Instead, he went out into the world and met people where they were.
Don't make your circle exclusive. Be intentional about meeting people who look different, believe different and live differently. The goal isn't to shape them into a mini version of you. You might be surprised how much Jesus chooses to minister to you through them. You aren't the only one he is working through. You, my friend, as do I, still have a long way to go ourselves. God isn't done with us yet.
Together let’s work on rejecting apathy and embracing Jesus’ call to serve others.
Joy is the second fruit of the spirit, and yet we rarely talk about it. It is something we all long for, but the truth is that it rarely happens in our comfort zones. In fact, it often follows pain and is a companion of fear and uncertainty.
Joy and happiness are often confused with one another. Our culture has hijacked and commercialized the meaning of happiness. It has been wrapped up in success, possession of things and fun. The pursuit of happiness is a pursuit of comfort while joy is a quality found regardless of our circumstances.
Rooted in love
Joy is the second fruit of the spirit. It follows love, but we rarely talk about it. The two are deeply connected. It is rooted in love, and like love, it is a practice.
Joy happens in spite of suffering. It is an act of resistance against despair and a display of trust in God. See, joy is about connecting with something beyond ourselves. Like love, it points the focus away from selfish desires.
Joy comes in the morning
In the midst of our pain, it can feel impossible to believe joy will follow. Psalm 30:5a states that “Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.” Joy flows from pain in the sense that we do not truly know we possess it until it is tested.
When we choose joy, regardless of the situation, we are placing our faith and hope in a God who is bigger than our circumstances. This doesn’t mean that we don’t hurt or mourn. No. Embrace those feelings when they come, don’t stuff them. But remember those moments, tragedies and sufferings do not define who you are in Christ.
It was what you do in a moment that defines who you are, not what happens to you. It is by your fruits that you will be known.
Try joy on for a spin. Choose today that you will, no matter what lies ahead, commit to living a joy-filled life.