Connecting People to Jesus



“The Atrophy of Apathy”


Prayer:  Lord Jesus, as Your Word tells us in Acts 17, it is in You that we “live and move and have our being.” By Your grace, Lord, help us to be and remain fully alive in this life and salvation You have blessed us with. Amen.


Scripture: James 2:26

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
Devotional – “The Atrophy of Apathy”

From little league tee-ball up until I was a sophomore in high school I played baseball regularly and fairly successfully. I was a pretty competent pitcher and had the opportunity to be trained and coached by Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven. When not pitching I often played first base. Being able to catch nearly anything thrown at you within reach is critical to being a successful first baseman, which meant your glove was your best friend. The glove had to fit and feel like a natural extension of your arm. Most important when it came to your glove, you wanted to form a good pocket right in the sweet spot to help trap the ball.

To form a good pocket, you had to break the glove in. That meant regularly oiling the glove, binding a new glove with rubber bands to shape the stiff leather, but most importantly, to properly break a glove in and make it effective, you had to use it. If you let your glove sit for too long without use, then it would stiffen up and become useless. The more you used your glove, the better your glove performed.

What’s true of baseball gloves is exponentially more true about our faith in Jesus. The more faith is exercised and put to work, the stronger it gets and the more joy and fulfillment we find in our walk with Jesus. When our faith is ignored or exercised sporadically, much like a baseball glove, our faith stiffens up and we become more rigid and stubborn, which means we become increasingly blind and deaf to the leadings and workings of God’s Spirit and presence in our lives and more likely to fumble the ball thrown to us.

A genuine and sincere faith in Christ that truly understands the amazing grace we have received from God cannot help but be an active faith. More specifically, a faith that is active within the church – God’s household of faith. As Galatians 6:10 says, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

As a pastor, I hear it all of the time. Whether it be through natural conversation or someone coming to talk with me specifically, a Christian will talk about not feeling “satisfied” in life. They have (or have had) the job, the kids, the money, the sports, the friends, the stuff, and yes, they go to church pretty much every weekend. Still, there remains a yearning for “something more.” I know there are many more Christians who feel this way but don’t talk about it or deal with it. Maybe even you.

Almost invariably, whether it be due to the lack of time available because of too many other commitments in life or because of the spiritual atrophy that always follows extended periods of spiritual apathy, I have found that those feeling a spiritual void or as if something is missing inside are also not involved in any substantive ministries, small groups, Bible studies, projects, or fellowship groups at church. This is no coincidence. James 2:26 warns us, “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” Like a muscle left motionless will atrophy, so too will our soul, our zeal, and our satisfaction in life when our spiritual life is one of inactivity, devoid of fellowship and regular exercise.

1 Corinthians 12:12 says, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” In other words, if the Body of Christ, His body of believers in the church, is not as essential to our lives as one of our limbs, we no doubt will feel incomplete…and we will be incomplete whether we feel it or not.

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” As you read throughout the Scripture, God intends those works to be worked out through His church. This is why these words in Ephesians were written to “To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 1:1

Avoid the atrophy of spiritual apathy my friends, live fully as the member of the Body of Christ that He has made you to be, and remember, that God has forgiven yesterday, is with you today, and has already taken care of tomorrow. Amen.