In preparation for Sunday’s message, I have been digging into Piper’s newest book, “Bloodlines”. As always, his writing is easy to read and hard to swallow. The spiritual nutrition he serves up is prime, but the reader is almost always left in a state of conviction. This passage, in particular, was bruising.
“Apathy is passionless living. It is sitting in front of the television night after night and living your life from one moment of entertainment to the next. It is the inability to be shocked into action by the stead-state lostness and suffering of the world. It is the emptiness that comes from thinking of godliness as the avoidance of doing bad things instead of the aggressive pursuit of doing good things.
If that were God’s intention for the godliness of his people, why would Paul say, “All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12)? People who stay at home and watch clean videos don’t get persecuted. Godliness must mean something more public, more aggressively good.
In fact, the aim of the gospel is the creation of people who are passionate for doing good rather than settling for the passionless avoidance of evil. “[Christ] gave himself for us… to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). The gospel produces people who are created for good works (Eph. 2:10), and have a reputation of good works (1 Tim. 5:10, and are rich in good works (1 Tim. 6:18), and present a model of good works (Titus 2:7), and devote themselves to good works (Titus 3:8, 14), and stir each other up to good works (Heb. 10:24).”
A numb soul is easier to identify than you may think. It can be found at the heart of a fruitless life.