Does anyone else struggle with apathy?

Sir_Orphiel

Member
Let me begin this by saying I still care about family, close friends, and any brother and sister in Christ. I care for their wellbeing, both physical and spiritual. And I pray, albeit not as often as I should. I would also like to mention that I love the Lord. That has not changed, and nothing will change that. I am very grateful for all He has provided me with, and I thank Him for the littlest things and the smallest breaks. I keep Him in my mind daily, and I will hold Him above all else till my last breath.
With that being said, my struggles come from many and various intense and negative experiences in my young (24) life. I came to Christ in December 2011 after thinking Christianity was a joke (I'll admit, I was a young, ignorant scoffer). The reason I did was because a great friend of mine set me straight. And not from her efforts. I felt I had to change myself, develop morals, and abide by virtues to become a better person just to continue being close to her. So, I did just that. And it led me to Christ, something I'll never forget.
But starting in March 2014, my life has seen a series of events that have tested me. I lost someone I loved deeply, and long to see in Heaven someday. I've struggled with familial issues that caused rifts in relations. "Friends" of many years took advantage of my good and charitable nature for selfish needs before betraying me or leaving me after they've had their fill. And that trend continued until February 2020 when I finally drew a line for myself, receded into a cold shell, and lost my touch of empathy for...life in general, it would seem.
Now, as I've stated, I still hold empathy and sympathy for family, friends, brothers and sisters, and I absolutely love and appreciate the Lord daily. But I struggle immensely with caring for others I barely know now. So much so that it can take up to weeks to even trust someone I don't know. For awhile, I accepted that because of how dim life has been for 7 years, that it was all just a natural reaction to trauma and mental/emotional abuse. I find it hard to care these days about people or their mundane lifestyles or troubles.
I believe I've rambled on enough, and I've given a short and barely even tip of the iceberg look into my past. But do any of you struggle with apathy? And do you think it's wrong of me to be this way? Do any of you have any helpful advice? I would love to have a conversation about this as this issue has plagued me the most recently. And of course, if you have questions for me, I will answer to the best of my abilities.
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
But do any of you struggle with apathy?

I wonder if perhaps what's really ticking away is perhaps some discouragement? That can certainly undercut the Christian walk and is one of the most useful tools of the enemy of our souls, especially if we are isolated (but thank God does not jeopardize our salvation).


But starting in March 2014, my life has seen a series of events that have tested me.

Many of us have endured testing in our lives similar to what you are describing and it doesn't mean that God has left you or that He doesn't love you. A great part of this is a growing of our faith in Christ, and strengthening of faith in Christ and increased endurance in faith in Christ.

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you.


1 Peter 4:12-13

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

James 1:2-4

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
1 Peter :6-7


I lost someone I loved deeply, and long to see in Heaven someday. I've struggled with familial issues that caused rifts in relations. "Friends" of many years took advantage of my good and charitable nature for selfish needs before betraying me or leaving me after they've had their fill. And that trend continued until February 2020 when I finally drew a line for myself, receded into a cold shell, and lost my touch of empathy for...life in general, it would seem.

I'm so sorry that you lost a loved one, that is really tough :sad but am glad you have a hope to see them in Heaven. And, I'm sorry for the emotional/mental abuse, that seems to be in abundance in this world. Even the Apostle Paul sought to put distance between him and abusive people:

After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. Act 9:23-25

One of the things that can be hard as a Christian is seeing, understanding and applying boundaries with people. It sounds like you in a self preservation mode, just set a perhaps needed "I can't give any more boundary" for awhile. While we do undergo the testing of our faith we also have at our disposal biblical boundaries that can take time to recognize, know when to start setting and take practice to implement. As you read the bible more and more you'll begin to have the mind of Christ more and more and see how to set boundaries and at the same time still love people. Setting boundaries is a form of loving people actually, Paul put a believer out of the church for his own good to bring necessary correction to him and protect the church (the believer did repent and the church was told to love him and accept him again).

As you read the bible, notice how God, Christ and the Apostles set certain boundaries. Notice "the stay away from people like this" boundaries (which can include the go to your brother to rectify things steps laid out in Matthew 18:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 5 for example). Notice when Christ stops talking with those who are hard of heart or limits hanging around with them. Notice when Christ takes time to refresh Himself in prayer to God, etc. In addition, with practice, you will recognize the need for boundaries sooner in relationships as well, letting you assess if the relationship is healthy and whether to limit actions on your part and even limit time spent (there's various degrees of boundaries.

Additionally there's some great Christian books about boundaries by the authors Cloud and Townsend. They do a great job fleshing out boundary scriptures and how to apply in life situations in a loving way with the end goal of being good for both you and others.

But I struggle immensely with caring for others I barely know now. So much so that it can take up to weeks to even trust someone I don't know. For awhile, I accepted that because of how dim life has been for 7 years, that it was all just a natural reaction to trauma and mental/emotional abuse. I find it hard to care these days about people or their mundane lifestyles or troubles.

There is definitely that once shot twice shy kind of deal that kicks in when being burnt in relationships. :sad While we do love others, trust has to always be earned. Even the bible talks of how Jesus didn't trust people:

Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart. John 2:23-25

And, while we are to share the Gospel, He also warned to only go so far with biblical teachings with very contrary people lest they turn and abuse us:

“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you. Matt 7:6

When I start a new friendship I do not give away all my trust. As I interact with people, in love as the bible shows us, I am cautious with giving away trust until consistently trustworthy actions show forth. That means I don't share everything about my life right away, but gradually. This is very biblical:

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

Matthew 7:15-19

The Apostle Paul warned Timothy along these same lines about who to set boundaries with, particularly undisciplined people:

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

2 Timothy 3:1-5

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.

Romans 16:17-18

And finally, in this very fallen and marred world we will have many troubles as you've described Sir_Orphiel (welcome to R.F. by the way :) ) and that's where we choose to forgive others (sometimes with God's supernatural help) so as not to give footing to satan for further destruction, set boundaries where we can and seek God's help and comfort from God, His Word and trustworthy brothers and sisters (who are all forgiven sinners and saved & growing in Christ).

God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.


Matt 5:4


All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (by the way, while I've received much comfort from others, God's Word for me has been the very best comfort. :) )

Anyways, these are just some thoughts that may or may not be helpful. I'll be praying for you that God would comfort you and give you His guidance in navigating difficult situations. :pray
 

Sir_Orphiel

Member
Thank you for the advice. Any little bit helps, believe me. And I'm glad you gave me much and more to go off of. As seemingly, I forgot about some of the messages the Gospel preaches when it comes to being careful when it comes to people, and to set boundaries.
I work nights, hence my late reply haha but I will keep these words and verses in mind throughout the night and meditate on them. I strive to be better and not so apathetic and bitter. But I feel as I participate more with you all, continue to study scripture, and watch for our Lord's return, my soul will be nourished, and my heart will become less calloused. Just knowing enough that the Lord is still with me gives me great peace and comfort that I'm not ever truly alone in my endeavors. Which is why I will never cast blame or fault Him for anything that comes my way.
I have a tendency to ramble and write more than is needed. But I just like to relay my thoughts as much as possible. Thank you once more for this is something I needed to hear. Er... Read lol
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Thank you for the advice. Any little bit helps, believe me. And I'm glad you gave me much and more to go off of. As seemingly, I forgot about some of the messages the Gospel preaches when it comes to being careful when it comes to people, and to set boundaries.
I work nights, hence my late reply haha but I will keep these words and verses in mind throughout the night and meditate on them. I strive to be better and not so apathetic and bitter. But I feel as I participate more with you all, continue to study scripture, and watch for our Lord's return, my soul will be nourished, and my heart will become less calloused. Just knowing enough that the Lord is still with me gives me great peace and comfort that I'm not ever truly alone in my endeavors. Which is why I will never cast blame or fault Him for anything that comes my way.
I have a tendency to ramble and write more than is needed. But I just like to relay my thoughts as much as possible. Thank you once more for this is something I needed to hear. Er... Read lol
Hey no worries about your post, sometimes we need to write a bit more to get things out.

Glad you are here and posting. And your right, as you read/interact more you will enjoy the fellowship, which will give some comfort and connection. There's some really nice people here.
 

lamonte

Well-Known Member
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28).

There’s so much treasure found in spiritual rest. The secret for me to God’s miraculous rest is found in one simple phrase. Come to Me.
Jesus Himself is the secret to God’s rest. He is the “treasure” buried beneath the sand of difficulties and doubts, and fears. God’s peace is not the result of solving a problem or removing an irritation. His rest is divine. I, cannot receive it through human wisdom, or by striving to fulfill religious obligations such as: praying enough, fasting enough, meditating enough, giving enough or even going to Church. He is the pearl of great price. He is the treasure hidden in the field for which we joyfully sell everything, including useless anxieties, to buy that field.

The reason I call Jesus the “secret” to entering God’s rest is not because He hides from me, but because I sometimes hide from Him. Too frequently the moment a storm rises, right when I need Him the most, my first instinct, strangely, is to turn somewhere else. But why? Why do I sometimes turn first to complaints or worry or cheap substitutes or religious recipes when God has offered Himself to me?

Maybe it’s because I do not yet know Him as I ought to know Him. Maybe I haven’t developed the kind of relationship that He has graciously made available to me.

“Resting in the Lord does not depend on external circumstances at all, but on my relationship to Jesus Christ Himself.” If we are passing through turbulence, this may be the reason. Jesus may have allowed it so we would get to know Him better.

“The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is not--Do your duty, but--Do what is not your duty. It is not your duty to go the second mile, to turn the other cheek, but Jesus says if we are His disciples, we shall do these things. There will be no spirit of--"Oh, well, I cannot do any more, I have been so misrepresented and misunderstood". . . Never look for right in the other man, but never cease to be right yourself. We are always looking for justice; the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is--Never look for justice, but never cease to live it.”

Oswald Chambers,
 

heisable2

Well-Known Member
I wonder if perhaps what's really ticking away is perhaps some discouragement? That can certainly undercut the Christian walk and is one of the most useful tools of the enemy of our souls, especially if we are isolated (but thank God does not jeopardize our salvation).




Many of us have endured testing in our lives similar to what you are describing and it doesn't mean that God has left you or that He doesn't love you. A great part of this is a growing of our faith in Christ, and strengthening of faith in Christ and increased endurance in faith in Christ.

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you.


1 Peter 4:12-13

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

James 1:2-4

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
1 Peter :6-7




I'm so sorry that you lost a loved one, that is really tough :sad but am glad you have a hope to see them in Heaven. And, I'm sorry for the emotional/mental abuse, that seems to be in abundance in this world. Even the Apostle Paul sought to put distance between him and abusive people:

After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. Act 9:23-25

One of the things that can be hard as a Christian is seeing, understanding and applying boundaries with people. It sounds like you in a self preservation mode, just set a perhaps needed "I can't give any more boundary" for awhile. While we do undergo the testing of our faith we also have at our disposal biblical boundaries that can take time to recognize, know when to start setting and take practice to implement. As you read the bible more and more you'll begin to have the mind of Christ more and more and see how to set boundaries and at the same time still love people. Setting boundaries is a form of loving people actually, Paul put a believer out of the church for his own good to bring necessary correction to him and protect the church (the believer did repent and the church was told to love him and accept him again).

As you read the bible, notice how God, Christ and the Apostles set certain boundaries. Notice "the stay away from people like this" boundaries (which can include the go to your brother to rectify things steps laid out in Matthew 18:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 5 for example). Notice when Christ stops talking with those who are hard of heart or limits hanging around with them. Notice when Christ takes time to refresh Himself in prayer to God, etc. In addition, with practice, you will recognize the need for boundaries sooner in relationships as well, letting you assess if the relationship is healthy and whether to limit actions on your part and even limit time spent (there's various degrees of boundaries.

Additionally there's some great Christian books about boundaries by the authors Cloud and Townsend. They do a great job fleshing out boundary scriptures and how to apply in life situations in a loving way with the end goal of being good for both you and others.



There is definitely that once shot twice shy kind of deal that kicks in when being burnt in relationships. :sad While we do love others, trust has to always be earned. Even the bible talks of how Jesus didn't trust people:

Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart. John 2:23-25

And, while we are to share the Gospel, He also warned to only go so far with biblical teachings with very contrary people lest they turn and abuse us:

“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you. Matt 7:6

When I start a new friendship I do not give away all my trust. As I interact with people, in love as the bible shows us, I am cautious with giving away trust until consistently trustworthy actions show forth. That means I don't share everything about my life right away, but gradually. This is very biblical:

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

Matthew 7:15-19

The Apostle Paul warned Timothy along these same lines about who to set boundaries with, particularly undisciplined people:

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

2 Timothy 3:1-5

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.

Romans 16:17-18

And finally, in this very fallen and marred world we will have many troubles as you've described Sir_Orphiel (welcome to R.F. by the way :) ) and that's where we choose to forgive others (sometimes with God's supernatural help) so as not to give footing to satan for further destruction, set boundaries where we can and seek God's help and comfort from God, His Word and trustworthy brothers and sisters (who are all forgiven sinners and saved & growing in Christ).

God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.


Matt 5:4


All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (by the way, while I've received much comfort from others, God's Word for me has been the very best comfort. :) )

Anyways, these are just some thoughts that may or may not be helpful. I'll be praying for you that God would comfort you and give you His guidance in navigating difficult situations. :pray
Spoken so well. The Holy Spirit had your hand when you wrote your words to our brother/sister in Christ. Thank you too for how I was blessed. I've known The Lord for 45 years and it never ceases to amaze me that I'm still learning.

When we arrive at our forever home, we will understand why things happened the way they did.
 

soundingthealarm

Fleethewrath2come
Throughout the years of my walk I have had some times I got really discouraged and felt defeated in my outreach to those close to me and just in outreach in general.
I once heard a great message about Noah and how he must of felt ....but the minister went on to say Noah was very successful in his outreach in that he warned all he could and even though He only had 7 converts, he had done his job in warning so effective that God was able to tell him to go into the ark as all the others had REJECTED the saving message (NOT NOAH).
 
Top