Careless Ease

“…the careless ease of fools shall destroy them.” – Proverbs 1:32

The online dictionary defines the word ‘apathy’ as: Lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference.

More lives are destroyed because of an attitude of indifference and carelessness than almost anything else.  Think of how many marriage relationships erode simply because of carelessness and lack of nurture.  More children are spoiled and eventually develop little-to-no character because of careless parenting.  Health problems can largely be attributed to a spirit of apathy as well.  It affects so many areas of life.

When it comes the prospect of eternal life, most people will eventually miss the mark primarily because they were indifferent to the state of their soul.  They were lukewarm.  They never outwardly rejected anything, but neither did they embrace anything of substance.

The Lord Jesus tells parables of individuals who weren’t necessarily out doing terrible sins, but were simply preoccupied with life and never got around to putting God as the priority in their lives.  For example, we see the parable of the great banquet (Luke 14:15-24):

“A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’

“But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’

“Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

“Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

Needless to say, in this parable the Lord was illustrating how people skip out on eternal life and the promises of God because of misplaced priorities, busyness and carelessness.  In another parable he identifies people taken up with “the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches.”

In the Bible, the word ‘fool’ does not mean someone who is mentally deficient. Rather, it is reserved for a person who orders their life as if there is no God.  It doesn’t mean they are engaged in obnoxious and terrible evil.  But when it comes to matters of eternity, they are just passive, disinterested and unconcerned.

My hunch is that they have a foggy view that if they live a good life, defined by not hurting others and doing some good deeds, God will open wide the pearly gates and invite them in.   A lovely picture indeed, but sadly a mirage.

The opposite of careless ease as it pertains to spiritual matters, is a deep hunger and anxiety that will not be satisfied with anything less than the true and living God.  Platitudes and rhetoric don’t do the trick.  New age gimmickry falls short.  Institutional religion is a poor substitute.

Look what the author of Psalm 42 had to say of his feelings:

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

Perhaps the greatest question ever asked in the Bible was on the day of Pentecost, after Peter preached a very convicting message:

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

The blinders had fallen off and the people found themselves stripped of self-righteousness, religion and anything else they might have rested on.  They were agitated in their spirits and would find no rest until the question on their hearts was answered.

Likewise, our prayer is that the hearts of people would be plagued and given no rest until they come to the best place a man or woman can ever come to, and say, “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling.” No longer passive; no longer apathetic; no longer looking to clouds that have no water to quench the thirsting of their souls.  Our prayer is that careless ease would be replaced with fervent hunger and desire to come to know the Lord.

Isn’t it amazing that man’s greatest riches can only be attained by recognition of his weakness? Matthew 5:3.

In closing: get hungry.  Ask God to fill you with a hunger for Him that will not be satisfied.  Pray.  Continue in prayer.  Seek the face of God, not just His hand (what you want from Him).  Get off the couch (spiritually speaking) and start living for God daily, starting with your family life.