The Things We Do To Get By

The really smart people call it “coping mechanisms.” I like to simply call it things we do to get by. Think about it. Has something come up at work or at home and at the moment it was just too much to handle? You already have so much on your mind and whether you say it out loud or not, in your mind you scream “WHATEVER.” Or another response we use is “IT’S NOT MY PROBLEM.” Then there is the classic “IT’S NOT MY JOB” (which is close to the unpardonable sin on my team).

At times we do employ these thoughts as coping techniques, but there is a danger to be cautious of here. The danger is APATHY. There is probably not a better description of apathy than the expression “whatever.” Outside of the word “like,” it may be the most used word in a teenager’s vocabulary, but that is a different topic for a different day.

Apathy is a real concern and here’s why:

  • It limits your ministry effectiveness.
  • Hurts relationships.
  • Sucks the joy out of ministry.
  • Quite frankly, can cause you to lose your job.

If you remember the first “Dark Night” movie, you will remember the scene where Bruce Wayne is training with these highly skilled ninjas. The stealth and silent warriors are almost undetectable as they prey on their victims.

That reminds me of apathy. No one wakes up and thinks, “Boy, today I’m going to be apathetic.” No, the reality is it sneaks up on us like a ninja. Slowly over time, inch-by-inch, the prowler called Apathy sneaks up and takes us without us even realizing what happened.

It happens when really committed people, who love what they do, get to that point where “it’s just too much,” and the apathy ninja starts his move.

Here’s the cycle:
It begins with cynicism,
that leads to criticism,
that can lead to a bad attitude,
and that leads to…“Whatever,” “It’s not my problem” and “It’s not my job.”

Be cautious my friends. You are called and you are committed, that makes you a target. Look for these signs and don’t let it “take hold in your heart.”

Here are a few simple suggestions:

  • Guard your conversations about leadership. If you are consistently negative, you will start down the “apathetic path.”
  • Connect yourself to people who will love you enough to be honest with you.
  • Don’t be defensive, humbly accept the input.
  • Put into practice the things you KNOW you should do.

We’ll talk more about this later. Have a great week and check out the More Than Puppets podcast on Wednesday.


  1. Becky Downs says:

    Oh, this is good! So good!

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