Apathy makes me angry.
Because it steals. It kills. It destroys.
Recently I have taken a hard look at the areas in my life that I haven’t wanted to touch with a ten-foot pole. Most of these areas will sound familiar to you. I don’t claim to be unique in my apathy.
Procrastinating. Overeating. Pornography. YouTube videos. TV shows. Books. My thought life.
Recognize any of these?
Well, for the first time in my entire life, I suddenly have new eyes.
And it makes me angry.
Because the books I read and the food I eat are lying to me. They promise happiness, but it all disappears when I finish the book or when I look in the mirror.
Because YouTube videos and TV shows are stealing that which is a gift from God: my precious time.
Because porn and fantasies are destroying the beauty that God has created between a man and a woman.
Because procrastination is killing what I want for my future.
And it makes me angry.
Because I let them.
Because I look around, and my whole generation is still blind to what sin is doing to them.
The Sunday morning small groups are laughing about that new PG-13 TV show they’re addicted to.
The guys at school are joking about porn.
We complain about procrastination the night before that assignment is due.
The girls are gushing over that new YA romance novel.
Don’t you see?
Sin is stealing, killing, and destroying you!
And you know what the scary part is?
Sin is quiet. It lies to you, one chip at a time. It steals, one YouTube video at a time. And it destroys, one fantasy at a time.
You won’t ever know until it’s too late.
So I beg of you, my generation. Don’t read these words with blind eyes! Don’t ignore the warning!
Because one day, it will be too late.
Does this make you angry?
I hope so!
Now that I have your attention, I am going to challenge you to do a hard thing.
Fight the sin in your life.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like” (James 1:22-24).
Fight sin with every tool that you have.
Confess to the Lord: “I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin” (Psalm 32:5).
Confess to others: “Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
Flee from sin.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:7-10).
Pour light into the sin so that you and everyone around you can see sin for what it really is.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light” (Ephesians 5:8-13).
If fighting sin requires something drastic, then do something drastic.
“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell” (Matthew 5:29-30).
Pray, pray, pray.
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
Finally, be actively preparing for the battle by putting on the armor of God.
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:14-17).
Is my challenge easy? Of course not!
But doing hard things means, first and foremost, rejecting the blindness of apathy and fighting sin.
Will you join me in this battle?
“But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do” (James 5:25).
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Excellent post! I don’t there’s anything to add to make it any better!
I have been convicted of not caring about a few of these things recently. One is food. I’ve been trying to get in shape by working out, but I have to also stop eating whatever just makes me feel good. Another is just being comfortable. No one wants to step out and try to mend a broken friendship, or reach out and try to be a witness to someone they’ve never met. I’m in the process of doing both of these things, and it is really helping me grow spiritually.
Timely article! Again, excellent writing!
Thank you! I’m glad it was a blessing.
Ooh. This is good, Haley. Really good. Thank you for sharing these truths with us! God has definitely been working in my heart about sin in my own life, and I love it when God decides to help me out with a well corroborated post on theReb. And I really enjoy your writing style 🙂 Thank you again, Miss Haley!
I’m so glad the Lord is working on you. I have to admit that although it is good to rid yourself of the apathy, fighting sin hurts a lot. It is painful. Why else would God call it pruning?
Yes, I know It hurts. I’m so thankful that God is by my side through every painful step though! He is so good.
I needed to hear this, Haley–thank you so much for writing it. Your comment about YouTube videos and other things stealing time? That’s me. I procrastinate, I binge YouTube (and it’s usually not God-focused stuff, it’s just time-killers), and I don’t think about God. This really convicted me–that kind of sin destroys, and I need to flee from it.
Yes, I had the same habit. Even now, I still find it so much easier to avoid work by binging on Youtube. What I did a little under a month ago to “gouge out my eye”, so to speak, is fasted from Youtube with a friend of mine. We did 21 days of no video. The goal was to break the habit of using Youtube as a go-to for procrastination. I did, and although it didn’t break the procrastination all the way, it has helped so much! Having accountability is very important. I pray that you won’t dismiss your anger without taking action!
A few weeks ago I fasted from my phone. I didn’t touch my phone or look at social media on the computer until after 2 pm each day. It was the first time I’d ever done something like that, and it was so amazing! I was so much more productive, my Bible time wasn’t interrupted by texts, etc.
Oh I know, it is so amazing to see the results of a fast! It is encouraging too, because the more I get away from time-eaters, the more I realize just how dangerous they are!
I think I just read the best army recruitment add I’ve ever seen. This was really convicting, I need to definitely gouge out some stuff in my life! Thank you for being real and honest!
Well, I’m not sure army recruitment was the intention, but I’m glad it was convicting. Go on and gouge! 🙂
From an oldster who has seen and heard a lot, this is absolutely excellent. The only problem is that all ages aren’t reading it. Shout it from the housetops! May God be continually glorified through your writings.
I certainly appreciate your comment. Praise the Lord you were blessed by the article!
@ZeePt3 pretty much said what I felt. Thanks for writing this, Haley! I love your challenge and it’s one that I’m going to do. Really, really, good article. 🙂
Thank you so much. Go forth in the battle! 🙂
This article is awesome! Very convicting..Something I needed today! I am joining the battle..Thank you Haley!
I’m so glad it was timed well. Isn’t it just amazing how the Lord does that sometimes?
Yeah it’s awesome! Thank you Jesus!
Thank you, Haley, for writing this excellent post. While concise in form, it is powerful in message. Just a few weeks ago, while struggling through a period of severe apathy brodering on depression, I wrote a journal entrey on how the worst way to die is not by a thousand poisons, but rather to die by a thousand poisons with the antidote in your hand. I decided at that point to turn away from my depressed thinking and to use my mental experiences to comfort others and point them to Christ.
Yes Andrew, there is beauty in transparancy. I find that the more I am brutally honest and vulnerable about my own life, the more I am blessed by growth. The Lord is working in you!
Thank you Haley for sharing this and being so honest. It can’t be easy to put yourself out here like this but you’ve really encouraged me. It is so sad to me how often I fall for the happiness lie.
I appreciate you reading the article. 🙂 You know, I have found that it is when I am vulnerable that I do the most growing. Don’t let the fear of getting out of your comfort zone hold you back from TRUE joy in the Lord.
10,000% well said — we have many things to improve upon and God has granted us all the tools — especially the Holy Spirit — to move forward in our battle against sin. And yet, we still struggle. The human condition is a temporarily discouraging one, but an eternally hopeful one as we look to our Lord who will wipe away every tear. May all professing believers follow in suit of your authenticity!
Yes, it is easy to get discouraged by the continual growth, simply because we know we can never be perfect. But take heart! Our job is not to be perfect, but to obey and glorify God.
THANK YOU THANK YOU for this. I so completely identify and agree, and I’m really motivated now to take a good look at what areas of my life I should work harder on.
Hailey, (haha, there are like three Haleys now) I am so glad that the article blessed you! Just throwing something out there. Don’t think in terms of “working harder”. I have done that for years, I assure you, it doesn’t actually work very well or very long. Instead, have the courage to stare your sin in the face and say, “I hate this. I don’t want to do this. What tools has the Lord given me to fight this that I haven’t already employed in this area?” (Not the least of which is the Holy Spirit already in work in you!) It is not in your strength. It is not with your willpower. Use the tools, and God will do the rest.
Mm Haley this was absolutely fantastic. I’ve been noticing a lot of the same things in my life and culture (despite the fact that I go to a Christian school). No one lives any differently than the world–including me. It’s like that CS Lewis quote, we settle because we cannot imagine what is meant by something better. We’re far too easily pleased
Wow….just wow…that is SO true!
I see this so much around me, and because I’m immersed in it, I keep forgetting that these things of the world can cause me to stumble in my walk, and take me down…and to think that I’m calmly letting them do that to me!!!
Woah…this is certainly something I needed to hear – thank you, Haley!!!
I will ask God to help me work on this aspect….
Oh absolutely. Thank you so much for this post. This has been something the Lord has brought to my attention lately as well. This very much encouraged me. Thank you so much!
I really like what you are saying. I get it. I see that everywhere and it makes me so angry. I hear about stuff like that and I almost rip something apart. I’m going to try to do what you recommend, because it’s true that it will suck us in. Thank you so much for posting this.
thank you for this post.. I am, right now, in the exact situation where I procrastinate a lot and wasting my time watching YouTube videos. Its hard to not watch YouTube, because it’s very addictive. But I’ll keep praying for that. Thank you again..
Cora, I strongly encourage you to help yourself break the habit by telling someone (like your mom or dad) that you are struggling with this distraction and working together to create strong barriers and accountability. You will always be able to find a way around it if you truly want to, but barriers give you that extra opportunity to choose God over temptation. Also, parental accountability creates some strong motivation to avoid the distraction!
yeah.. I think I do need help from someone to break my bad habit. I’ll definitely talk to my parents about this..Thanks again Haley…
WOW WOW WOW WOW
This is my mind right now.
I have realised that i only have 3 years of teenage years to change the world. But i am not trying to change the world i am just waiting to start changing the world ….. procrastinating .
I need to stop… i mean start
MY FIRST COMMENT o/
This might have been the bestest, most timeliest article I have ever read. It perfectly defines the issue of a generation, and calls it out for what it is: SIN. Thank you!