In last week's podcast episode, I discussed overcoming fear, the second session or chapter in Bill Hybels' book, Living in God's Power, Finding God's Strength for Life's Challenges. I am doing a 7 week book study on Hybels' book. The book study discusses the ways in which we can go about getting to the next level in what God has for our lives. Last week's episode also talked about what Hybels says about getting over fear. He said, if we are operating in fear, get to the root of that thing and move on out from there. "Only when we identify the birthplace of fear, can we begin the process of overcoming it" (Hybels, p. 21). Remember, fear is a lie and doesn't come from God. Hybels says, 'we have to expose the lies of fear and not be paralyzed by them (p. 22). Thus, we can all overcome fear, because we can all walk in the new creations Christ made us to be.
The focus of this week's episode is on overcoming apathy or that don't care feeling, the third session or chapter 3 of Hybels' book. Hybels says, 'if we want to put apathy and self-indulgence to death, we need to get face to face to with those who are hurting. If we are going to overcome apathy, we need to allow ourselves to feel the pain of others and take some kind of meaningful action' (p. 28). Hmmmmmm, perhaps if we got out of our own way, we may find that someone else has it worse than us, right? Maybe, if we went out of our way for someone else, we may find that our current situation is actually a blessing and not as bad as we think it is.
One time when I was in college, I had a roommate that I didn't bother to invite to my house for the holidays. I wasn't thinking about anybody else, but myself and what I was going to do with my family. My roommate's family lived too far for her to visit for the holidays. When I returned to school I found out she didn't do anything for the holidays and she had nowhere to go. She just stayed in the dorm room and hung out with nobody. I felt really bad when she told me that. You see, my attitude was all about what I was I going to do in my life -- what was going on with my life, and I didn't think about anybody else. I wasn't a selfish person or anything like that, I just didn't feel like inviting her. I think maybe we had a disagreement at some point before that. Yet not inviting her wasn't right and let me tell you, I have felt left out so many times in my life after that. And it's during those times that I remember that time. Don't get me wrong, I don't beat myself up over it. It's just something that stays in my mind and that's a good thing, because it keeps me grounded in how I can go about helping others. To this day, I don't like it when anybody feels left out. And as I a teacher I make it a point to ensure all of my students are treated the same way with the same resources. That's very important to me.
There was another time when didn't have my car, because it was in storage in another state when I moved. Before I went without a car, I never thought about people who didn't have transportation. I just always took driving for granted. But after I had to get a ride from people and rely on them, I had a new appreciation for a little thing called, a car. Now it really doesn't matter what I drive. I'm not my car and I couldn't care less what anyone thinks about the car I drive. It doesn't matter anymore. All I know is that if I person needs a ride and I can help, I will.
So what's the moral of what I think Hybel is trying to convey in this session of his book? Hebrews 13:1/2 comes to mind, which says, "Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." Hybels says, when we allow our heart to be touched by somebody else's life, that can help us overcome apathy (p. 30). When we can feel somebody else's pain, then we can be better equipped to help them through theirs. When we take a minute to appreciate and thank God for our lives and where we are, then maybe we can get out of ourselves and help somebody else who may need our help. Perhaps that apathetic, don't-care attitude will be more of a thankful one when we realize what God has really given us, huh? Just something to think about.
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