Do you ever find yourself trying to fight indifference? Maybe you want to care about great causes, a people group, or a mission, but you’re unsure of where to start. Interestingly, that feeling can actually lead us to a weird place where we end up doing the exact thing we didn’t want to do: turning a blind eye to the needs around us. We can subconsciously (or even consciously!) decide to choose indifference over discouragement. Believe me, we’ve all been there.
Thankfully, that can change. For me, it started about seven years ago when I was traveling through Rwanda and met a guy whose story changed my life forever.
Though we were close in age, I learned that Luke had lived a drastically different life than I had. He had survived the Rwandan Genocide, one of the most horrific tragedies in our world’s history.
He was only 4 years old when both his parents were brutally murdered right in front of his eyes. He was left traumatized, homeless, and suddenly responsible for the well-being of his younger siblings.
As Luke was telling me his story, I found myself at a complete loss.
What should I say to comfort him?
What questions should I ask?
What questions should I definitely not ask?
How many people around me had been through something this traumatic?
Luke joyfully shared that he and his siblings had been rescued by a local non-profit that helped them rebuild their lives, go to school, and experience healing. Talk about inspiration!
Meeting Luke was the catalyst for my decision to go to graduate school for trauma and addiction counseling, which helped equip me for my calling as a pastor here at Life.Church. God spoke to me loud and clear through Luke’s story, and I’m so grateful for the impact that conversation had on my life.
You see, learning people’s stories changes us. When you look someone in the eye and hear what God’s brought them through—or you read the words they’ve poured out from their heart—you can’t help but see things differently.
So, why are we so prone to indifference and apathy? Why do we sometimes care more about comfort and convenience than living with purpose?
I believe it’s because we stop listening to the stories around us.
When our focus as individuals, churches, and communities turns inward and becomes about us, we miss what God wants us to see. But when we turn our gaze outward and ask Him to open our eyes to the people and needs around us, something amazing happens. He leads us into moments and conversations that He planned for us before we were even born.
Here’s some great news: You don’t have to travel to a faraway country to hear a life-changing story. I encourage you to do that if you’re able to, but the truth is that there are people all around you who are desperate for a friendly smile and listening ear. There are people whose stories God wants to use to inspire you to step into His divine calling for your life.
Here are a few simple ways you can fight indifference and find great causes to fight for.
- Invite a new neighbor to coffee and ask what brought them to your area
- Look up local non-profit organizations and take a group of friends to serve at one
- Offer to mentor someone who’s going through something you’ve lived through yourself
- Take a coworker who’s facing a difficult situation out to lunch and listen to their story
- Volunteer with Life.Church Online and pray with people from all over the world
God loves people everywhere, and we should too. Whether it’s across an ocean or across the street, reach out to someone and listen to their story. It’s the first act of love and humility in serving others.
But don’t stop there—expel indifference from your life for good.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13 NIV
Find your cause, then go fight for it.