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PASTOR’S CORNER: Indifference may be a spiritual problem

Once in a while, most of us find ourselves in situations which elicit responses like “so what?” or “who cares?” or “what’s the difference?”

These can be perfectly legitimate responses if the situation is of no consequence to the respondent. If, however, one finds himself uttering those types of questions in excess, they could be symptoms of a deeper, spiritual problem.

The problem we refer to is an attitude — a spirit of indifference — which can be a killer if one doesn’t evict it from the mind. If allowed to prevail, it can kill one’s initiative and personal growth in life. Goal-setting and self-improvement may be seen as unimportant where this spirit of indifference has set up housekeeping.

Indifference causes these things due the existence of two inherent realities, deception and complacency, both of which are part of the indifferent mindset. Once invaded by this demon, a person is ripe to be deceived into thinking that his or her current situation is as good as it can possibly be, and complacency sets in. So, one proclaims, “why bother?”

And now our victim is dealt the final blow in this demonic plot; a degree of spiritual blindness which renders him incapable of recognizing his condition. This is a brand of blindness that is impervious to light, and without help, the devil’s plan to keep him in a state of blindness from which he can never recuperate will succeed.  But, a solution to the problem is on the horizon.

First, one must recognize that there is a problem, and then set a goal to be delivered from it. Next, follow the advice given by Jesus in a letter to a church that had this exact problem among its congregation. His first advice to them, found in Revelation 3:20, was to “open the door” to him, and he “will come in.” A spiritual problem requires a spiritual solution. So start with prayer.

Ask for deliverance, and be guided by his next advice to the church (Revelation 3:18), “buy of me”; in other words, accept what he has to offer to achieve the goal of deliverance. What he offers are three enablers: inward purity (“gold tried in the fire”), outward purity (“white raiment”), and the word of God (“eye salve that thou mayest see”).

Spiritual sight comes through consistent exposure to the “eye salve,” which ultimately results in both inward and outward purity and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ through faith. Now, let’s summarize all this in plain English. None of this happens automatically, including deliverance, without some human effort.

The process begins with acceptance of Jesus by faith; continues with a consistent study of God’s word; and a genuine effort to apply biblical spiritual principles to life situations. If we put forth the effort, the enablers work for us and we will realize goal achievements in life. Trust me, it works and it’s well worth the effort.

Rev. O.L. Johnson, a retired LAPD lieutenant, is an associate pastor in his home church, Greater New Zion Baptist, 501 W. 80th St. in Los Angeles. Pastor’s Corner is a monthly religious column that looks at the relevancy of scripture to life today. The column appears on the first Thursday of each month in the Wave and its website, www.wavenewspapers.com.