I have heard a lot of talk lately in Spiritual Discussions about “indifference”.
What is indifference? According to Saint Ignatius, indifference does not mean that you do not have a preference for a sunny day over against a cloudy day, or for health over against sickness, or to have children over against being childless. There is nothing wrong with stating our preferences to God.
What indifference means is this:
Indifference: We’re not so invested in our preferences that we are unable to praise and reverence God… whatever our circumstance.
Indifference means we are free to respond in love for God and in love for others and experience joy in life whatever comes our way. Indifference was the secret that the Apostle Paul was referring to in Philippians 4 when he said to the Philippians:
Philippians 4:11-13 (NAS) 11“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”….
As we begin to pray, we want to open ourselves up to God and to embrace our identity in Christ. One goal of prayer is to separate from our own strength and cling to God… so that we live out of the reality of our identity in Christ.
Here is a possible spiritual exercise which focuses on indifference.
1. Affirm and Embrace My Limitations as a Finite Person –
Take time to turn your inner being toward God and to affirm the truth of John 15:5: “Apart from me you can do nothing.” (God, I can’t do it without You.
2. Present Yourself to God as “A Living Sacrifice, Holy and Pleasing to Him” – Offer the various parts of your body and being to God. (God I give you my mind, my thinking, what I am focusing on, my mouth and what I say, my heart, my hands…Offer yourself to God in prayer.)
3. Affirm, Embrace and Celebrate Your Soul’s True Identity As a Christ-follower, you are a new creation, a one-of-a-kind masterpiece of God created new and fresh in Christ. Here is a time to affirm various truths about who you are in Christ. For example:
I am forgiven by God (what amazing love He has for us)
I am adopted by God (He has taken me as His own and given me His inheritance.)
I belong to God (Can you embrace this reality?)
I am chosen by God (with extravagant, wastefully abundant love)
I am the residence of God (and of His lavish love)
I the beloved of God (I am loved unconditionally.)
I suggest you sit in silence and ask God what He might want to say to you.