2005-08-19 - Acedia
The Seven Deadly Sins Series, Part 6
As we continue in our look at the "Seven Deadly Sins," we come to acedia. I will admit to you that I, nicknamed "The Grammar Queen," had to look up that word in the dictionary. It translates as apathy or spiritual sloth. It's from the Latin phrase "A cedia," or lack of care or grief.
Most of us probably wouldn't consider ourselves spiritually apathetic, but let's think about it honestly. When is the last time you just couldn't wait to read the Bible, or couldn't put it down - as you might with a riveting book? Can you remember when you rushed home from a ballgame or movie, eager to get on your knees and have a conversation with your Heavenly Father, as you feel when you think about talking to your best friend or that "special someone?"
God makes it clear how HE feels about apathy.
Rev. 3:14-16 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: 15 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
When you hear a news story about children dying from hunger, or a woman beaten up by her husband or boyfriend - does it break your heart? Our hearts should be broken by what breaks the heart of our Heavenly Father. Sometimes our senses and brains are on overload, for there is so much "bad news," that we don't take it to heart as we should - not to the point of depression, just to the point of allowing God to use us. God forbid we "get used to it." We need to be praying for those who are hurting, and when God leads, doing something of a practical nature.
So what do we do, if we have lost our fervor for the Lord, or don't feel compassion for his hurting children? We can't manufacture feelings, but feelings often follow on the heels of behavior. We can actually "act our way into feeling" (Side note: This works in relationships with other people, too.)
If the thought of studying God's word doesn't excite us, we can try reading a fresh version of the Bible, or studying it with a church group or a friend. We can learn from each other, and bring each other interesting insights. If our prayers have become rote, we can ask God to help us pray passionately. God's word says to "pour out your hearts" in prayer. He wants us to pray frankly; the Psalmists are excellent models. God will honor a prayer such as "God, I just don't feel like praying. I want to desire You and Your will, but I just don't. Please help me." And we can spend more time with people who are enthusiastic about their faith. It can be contagious.
With the help of God and our Christian brothers and sisters, apathy can be turned into passion for the Lord.
Series to be continued.
Comments or Questions,