Shaking Free from Indifference

Amos 5:7-13

Indifference is a tricky feeling. Sure, one can be indifferent about milk chocolate vs. dark chocolate (though clearly, dark chocolate is better). We can even be indifferent about slightly more important things like who to pick in a Yankees vs. Red Sox matchup (though clearly, the Yankees are preferable). Most of the time, indifference arises because we are not invested in something. The outcome has no effect on us, so we could care less about the particular issue at hand.

But then there are the things that really matter. In these, indifference has no place, yet it often settles into our souls and leaves us unaware and inactive. Amos tries to point out the people’s apathy in verses 11-12. What difference does it make that the people build houses of carved stone but don’t live in them or own pleasant vineyards but don’t use them? Well, to God, it matters a lot! The people have these amenities at the expense of another class of people. They are indulging while the rest of the world lives in rough, unstable houses and has their vineyards stolen from them.

Amos is not asking us to feel guilty because we own a brick home while our neighbor owns a house with cheap siding. He is, however, asking us to be aware of the cost of obtaining our wealth. Do our possessions come at the expense of another? Do we even care? Or are we simply indifferent to the inequality around us?

For justice to happen, we must shake free from our indifference. Simply because an issue does not impact us, does not mean it has no impact on our brothers and sisters. We have to take a long look at our lifestyle choices and see how they help or hinder the cause of justice and equity in the world.

Consider

What major lifestyle choices am I considering? How will my decision affect those who do not live in places of privilege?

Pray

God, stir within me a holy discontent with the injustice that surrounds me. Move me to action. Amen.

This post originally appeared in Volume 27.1 of Reflections.

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