Fact: Smoking can kill you.
Fact: Cancer can kill you.
Fact: Apathy will kill you.
Of all the things that have the potential to end our lives, none are so vicious as the disease of apathy.
No other force has allowed as much evil to persist.
No other curse has prevented so much good.
No other weapon can strike with as much power.
Apathy is deadly.
There is no question on whether or not it will kill you; the only question is how long it takes to do so.
Scripture is littered with references.
The voice of Christ speaking to the Church in Laodicea, saying that he wished they were either hot or cold, but since they are neither [lukewarm], he was about to spit them out of his mouth.
Jesus taught that it’s not what goes into a person that defiles them, but what comes out of them.
Not to mention the many kings of Israel and Judah who allowed foreign gods and altars to run their lands.
Who encouraged turning away from the LORD.
On Monday, Dr. Tom Boogaart said something that startled me.
“If the words are supposed to be in our heart, and the Spirit works within our heart – what if the Spirit gets to our heart and doesn’t have anything to work with?”
Another professor, Travis West, has adopted a new term for “memorization”: learn by heart.
For some reason, Dr. Boogaart’s question terrified me in a way that an angry German Shepherd would terrify a 2-year-old. His words frightened me because they exposed a deep cavity within myself.
I have portions of Scripture memorized, err, “learned by heart” – but there are so many more that I could have.
That I should have.
I lack the life I could have. And in place of that life is only death.
I have to ask myself (and by proxy, all of you) these questions: What do I put into myself?
Does it bring life to others? Or death?
Will it bring me life?
And perhaps the scariest question of all: if it brings me life, is this a kind of life that will endure?
The answer is “No.” A resounding, deafening, cruel, empty and raspy “No.”
My life is not filled with life.
I seek objects of death. I seek to fill things that make me feel good, make my life easier, and to take my gaze away from the problems of the world.
My heart is a battlefield, and I’m losing ground.
The Spirit is our advocate – the run who runs with us.
His job is to remind us of the things we’ve read.
The things we’ve learned. The things we need for life.
Remind. He’s here to remind us (among a myriad of other things).
What can the Spirit remind us of if we willingly refuse to put things in our hearts?
Any person can memorize. Anyone can remember something.
How many movies can we quote?
How many songs can we sing without even thinking?
How many “quotable sayings” have we locked into our brains and hearts?
Yet we hardly know anything from Scripture.
We fumble through Google to find the keyword of a passage that we think might pertain to what we’re trying to say.
Our problem is apathy. Our problem is a lack of effort.
We don’t want to try because “it’s hard.”
Because it’s not practical.
Because it’s inconvenient.
We are living a half-life, and we’re responsible.
But it doesn’t have to end this way.
Death never has the last word.
This isn’t over.
We are not enslaved if we give our allegiance to another.
The shackles of apathy do not bind us if we’re covered in the blood of another.
Jesus came to give us life, and if you chase after him, you will find it.
I have found the cure to this sickness, and I’m reading Scripture with a new hunger again.
I will not let this curse destroy me.
Don’t let it destroy you, either.