What Would Jesus Undo? Indifference.
Years ago, a movement to challenge the thinking and actions of the world started with a single question, “What Would Jesus Do?” Over the years there have been numerous modifications to this question. As we follow in His footsteps again today asking another question, “What would Jesus undo?” In this series, we go beyond the simple slogans of what it means to follow Christ and open yourself up to discover what Jesus wants to undo so that you can live a life of authentic faith. In week 1, we look into the subject of indifference.
Bottom Line: Every day do something that requires faith.
Something To Talk About:
Spiritual apathy, coldness, or indifference can affect even the most sincere Christian at one time or another. There are times when we lack passion and feel indifferent towards God. “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) Consider the following:
- Self-sufficency: “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.” (2 Corinthians 3:5 ESV) For many people who prize their independence and self-sufficiency, learning to depend completely on the Lord can be difficult. Somewhere along the way, it seems like a lot of us get the message that we must have it all together, that we have to figure out life on our own, that we are entirely responsible for our success or our failure and that everything depends on us. We see being dependent as a fundamental flaw. This way of thinking, this overwhelming desire for autonomy is in direct opposition to the way God created us. When we depend on ourselves, we can grow indifferent towards God because He fades into the background. All that changes when we face a season of problems which require us to come face to face with the truth that only God is self-sufficient. From the beginning of creation, Adam and Eve depended on God for everything. God created us to be needy and dependent so that in our need we would see and believe that He is the only true source of provision, and in our acknowledgement of His power and sufficiency, worship Him and not ourselves.
- Distractions of the world: I’m fairly convinced that there have never been as many distractions in the life of a person as we have now. The challenge is to stay focused on God in the daily grind while so many things are competing for our attention? Listen to what Jesus said about spiritual distraction in Matthew 13:15: “For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes—so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’ We become distracted when we stop focusing on Jesus, when our hearts have grown dull, our ears don’t hear and when we close our eyes. Using the illustration of a farmer scattering seed, Jesus compared the seed that fell among thorns to a person who hears God’s Word but whose heart is focused on other things.“The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.” (Matthew 13:.22). Each day we need to turn off the distractions of mind and heart and focus on the Lord. Focusing on Christ puts everything else in perspective.
- Indifference is one way we can reduce God to someone He is not. How does this impact your life and faith?
- Which is worse, indifference or irreverence? Explain your answer.
- If you received what you were asking for would it cause you to be more dependent upon God or cause you to become self-sufficient?
- Which cause of indifference do you most easily identify with—the illusion of self-sufficiency or the distractions of this world?
- Read Revelation 3:20. What would it look like for you to open the door to God in an area where you’re mostly indifferent?
- What is the promise for those of us that wait on the Lord and believe in His sufficiency?
- Do we have any reason to live with indifference in our lives? What can we do to live in full reliance on God every day?
- What is something you can do tomorrow that will require faith?
- What will you do every day this week to destroy indifference in your life?
Take one thing home with you:
Elie Wiesel is a writer, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor. Elie said that “the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” Indifference may well be worse than hate. People have become indifferent people to disasters, suffering and so on. With the best of intentions they say, ““What a shame, poor people, look how they are suffering,” and then they carry on. God does not expect us to be indifferent to Him and to the people around us. There is a story in Luke 7:11-17 where Jesus was “moved with pity” to perform a miracle on the son of a widow. It is an encounter that makes us reflect on our way of interacting with each other. My prayer is that God will cure us from any indifference. I pray we will have a heart like Jesus.