How the quest for rapid gratification has led to apathy in the Church

The apathy that has spread throughout the Church as a result of the craving for quick gratification

Everything we could ever want is there at our disposal. There was no way for me to find whatever I wanted as a kid with just a mobile phone. These days, I can instantly move funds between accounts, “fly” over locations using Apple Maps, and reserve a flight without leaving the comfort of my couch. All you need is an iPhone and some savings to buy everything you desire.

Those of us who are older didn’t grow up with YouTube or social media since we didn’t have access to the internet. They either had to call their buddies or drive over to their homes and hope they were there. As a result of our demand for rapid gratification, we can now send a message to a buddy and receive an instant reaction, which can make us angry.

Though this may have improved our quality of life, it also had spiritual consequences for the Church. Since we now have the world at our fingertips, the urge for quick satisfaction has only grown in our society.

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However, since society’s demand for instant gratification has increased, this means our resilience and our ability to persevere have lessened, which is problematic because the epistle to the Hebrews mentions the necessity to “persevere” (Hebrews 10:36) in order to obtain what we have been promised.

We must persist, not because we ought to.

As the Bible puts it, “in this life we will meet hardship” (John 16:33). The Church risks producing followers of Christ who are weak in the face of adversity.

What if they try going to church but the pastor’s sermons really turn them off? They can easily locate someone with whom they click online. This, in turn, can cause apathy.

Someone who makes the connection between apathy and wanting things now could be accused of making a sweeping generalization. But what if I become accustomed to always getting what I want, right when I want it?

Going to church is not about demanding your own way. The majority of the time, you just have to be patient. It takes patience to wait for seeds to germinate and then to see them develop into full-grown plants.

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Who knows if I’ll be able to stick with something like volunteering at a local school or soup kitchen if I don’t immediately achieve the results I was hoping for?

If I haven’t learned resilience, could I start to lose interest in God’s work and consider looking elsewhere for fulfillment?

Our churches have a serious problem with a lack of attendance and participation. As a result of the epidemic, church attendance has declined in Australia since the last census, and more and more services are being broadcast online instead.

It was convenient to be able to pick and choose which sermons to watch online when sick during the pandemic. From the convenience of our own bedrooms, we could tune in to sermons being broadcast live from churches all across the world.

After the lockdown was lifted, some still preferred to stay in bed and watch church services on television.

Church attendance has dropped since the pandemic, which may be attributed in part to people’s increased apathy and preference for familiar activities.

Everything comes down to our inability to delay satisfaction, our obsession with convenience, and our focus on self-interest rather than on God’s will for our life.

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We have, in reality, been guilty of worshipping an idol — namely, the god of pleasure.

When we put our faith in the pursuit of pleasure instead of God, we begin to want instant gratification rather than waiting for it next week. According to Proverbs 21:17, however, “Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who likes wine and oil will not be rich.”

These are the words of Solomon, who, more than anyone else, understood the dangers of chasing after fleeting satisfaction.

The author of Ecclesiastes laments the futility of seeking pleasure in chapter 2 verse 1: “Just relax and have fun as I put you through my pleasure test. But lo and behold, even that was an empty pursuit. “It is wild,” I responded of laughter, and “What use is it?” when asked about pleasure.”

It is my sincere hope that we would not follow in Solomon’s footsteps and waste our lives chasing after worthless pleasures. We should instead worship the One True God, who has the power to grant us our deepest aspirations.

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