Absence Makes the Heart Grow Apathetic

Over the last few weeks, three people shared with me that they were lacking spiritual desire or an inclination to fellowship with other Christians. I have been pondering this problem (to spur my thinking, I ordered John Piper’s, When I Don’t Desire God, but I am still waiting for the mail). The question is: Why do true Christians go through times when they lack spiritual desire and/or the desire to fellowship with other Christians? I think I know one reason.

Maya and I have had times where we were both busy with our own things, and did not spend much time together. I noticed that our desire to fellowship suffers during those times. The less we choose to fellowship, the less we want to; and the more time we spend together – the more we want to.

So it is with our spiritual lives. When a believer chooses not to spend time in the Word, in prayer, and with other believers, his spiritual appetite diminishes. It makes sense. When I spend time everyday communing with God, and it happens that I miss a day, I feel spiritually famished. However, if I go, say, a week without devotions, one individual day is no big deal.

If we want our spiritual appetite to increase, we must spend time with God. Tasting his goodness and his grace creates a deep hunger that only he can satisfy. The Psalmist was not wandering in spiritual mediocrity when he wrote:

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. (Psalms 42:1,2a ESV)

Eating and settling for spiritual junk food (or just neglecting our spiritual life altogether) produces only apathy, and apathy is a dangerous beast. Spending meaningful time with God is the only way to remedy small spiritual desire.


3 Responses to “Absence Makes the Heart Grow Apathetic”

  1. 1 Musings on the Way March 7, 2006 at 6:22 pm


    Once again good food for thought. You often mention good books that you have read or ordered. From where do you order and how do you have them delivered. Do you have any books you could bring in April that I could borrow?


  2. 2 The Grinder March 7, 2006 at 8:12 pm

    The best, as far as I know, is Amazon.com. I just order books and have them sent by the standard international rate. It takes a month, or a month and a half. All orders less than $100 are duty-free. Sure, I can bring a book or two to Moscow… just let me know what…

  3. 3 Musings on the Way March 7, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    I have no idea what you have. Maybe you could suggest a couple – something you’ve read that has been an encouragement or spurred you on to complete the race with diligence – and if I have not read them, then you could bring them.

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