Radicalism Shakes Others Out of Apathy – Philippians 1:12-14 Part 1 of 2

Posted: August 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

In the blockbuster film Batman Begins, there is a scene when Bruce Wayne exchanges some words with his butler – Alfred. Wayne (Batman) says to Alfred regarding his side-vocation as the Batman: People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy.

Is this not true?

In the letter to the Philippians the Apostle Paul gives a biblical example of this quote from Batman:

Now I want you to know that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brothers trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment have far more courage and boldness to speak the word of God without fear.

Though Paul lay chained and in jail, his radical living for Christ emboldened others to live out their faith. Paul says they spoke the word of God “without fear,” implying they were initially afraid to. The irony here is the same for us today: when we begin to do something we initially may have feared to do, such as live out Christ, God so works through us that we come to be able to do it “without fear.”

I remember walking the halls of my public high school and seeing my friend Brad carrying his Bible. At first, I thought this guy was crazy and that a Bible was the last thing you’d find me carrying. As a year or so went by, God began to put a heavy burden upon my heart to live for him, to do something which would testify of his presence in my life.

So, once I gathered enough courage, I started to carry my Bible. As a result of seeing someone else do something I was once afraid of doing, it emboldened me to step out of my comfort zone and try it. As time passed, I was eventually walking the hallways with my Bible under my arm, without fear.

Jesus himself has taken the most radical step in dying for us. This alone should shake us out of any apathy we are in, that we may serve him. For some discouraging reason, Christ’s call upon our life does not seem to always do the trick. Here is why we need our brothers and sisters in Christ, here is why we need to be in service for our Lord alongside our Christian community. As we serve the Lord together, we are strengthened and emboldened to serve him when we are not together.

For many of us, we like Paul are in chains. Our chains, however, are chains of apathy when the gospel calls us to take action and be proactive in our faith. So, may we take note of our Savior, of our Christian heritage, of the Christian community around us and allow our hearts to draw strength from them, that we may break out of the chains of apathy and join in and serve our Lord – without fear.

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