We live in an age where there is a greater and greater measure of passivity. Quite simply, for so many people life happens to them. What has led us into this situation?
- The Benefits culture. Endemic in our culture is the attitude that I am owed something. If all goes wrong, then someone is there to bail me out and that someone is normally the state. This means that the attitude that pervades is that of one where I will be provided for and I do not have to provide for myself and mine. For former generations if things got tight and there was pressing financial / material need then you had to get off your backside and seek to do something to sort this out. Nowadays, if there is a need there is an expectation that someone else will sort it out for my benefit. And so people become passive. If someone else is always there for my rescue then why do I have to push myself.
- The SAS culture. First, it was TV then computers and consoles and now it is a multitude of gadgets. There are so many ways now to “sit at screens”. The outcome of this is that life happens to me. I sit at a screen which requires minimal effort and things just happen. The implications of this development struck me when a contrasting way was mentioned in my presence recently. This lady mentioned how, in her upbringing, she and her siblings would occupy their Sunday afternoons with creating dramas of Bible stories for their parents. That requires initiative and “energy”. And that was the norm for previous generations, but alas no more.
So what is the reality consequent upon these developments? It is that we now see that there is very little “energy” and initiative injected into life by so many, particularly those of a younger generation. But what will shift people? In particular I ask the question what will shift Christians who are afflicted by this malaise? Its is only the love of Christ constraining His people which will engender this energy, initiative and activism. The three ladies on the first day of the week, that is the day of the Lord’s resurrection, demonstrated this (see mark 16:1-8). They were overwhelmed by what Christ had done for them, and even though he was dead they would determine to do what they could for Him. So when Sabbath was over they were out buying their ointments (see v1). And early in the morning, they were up making sure that they were at the tomb as soon as they could be (see v2). They had energy.
This reminds me that we need each other to be stirred to be active for the Lord. We need each other in the family of faith that we each might be effective in the service of the Lord. And finally let us hear this word.And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Heb. 10:24-25..