“I don’t care.”
Those three words make up one of the scariest—or at least weightiest—sentences that I can conceive.
Have you ever thought about how much weight your “care” carries?
Who or what do you care about right now? Who or what have you determined does not merit your care?
How much thought, I wonder, goes into those three little words every time they pass our lips? Sometimes I fear that we toss them around with hardly a moment’s consideration of what we are actually saying.
As Christians, we are called to be caring people. In many ways, “care” is simply another word for love. Caring for a friend or family member or someone across the sea is one way of actively showing our love for them. Caring for the ideas or values that they hold dear is another. Caring about how our lives and actions represent the name of Jesus demonstrates the solidity of our love for Him. And caring for His creation, stewarding His gifts—whether they be material, artistic, intellectual, or theological—is a form of love that flows out from our relationship with Him and from our gratitude for the love He has bestowed upon us.
What a friend once called the “don’t know, don’t care” attitude of millennials is of deep concern for me. It denies the fundamental interconnectedness of human beings and ideas. I have to say, there are very few topics that I can imagine simply shrugging off with a simple “I don’t care.” Ideas—even silly ones—have consequences. And every single person has a voice and an impact that will reach far beyond anything he or she likely imagines.
Let’s step out from the careless culture that surrounds us, and take time to reevaluate what things are so insignificant really to merit no care from us at all. Yes, we must steward our care and prioritize its objects in alignment with the pattern Jesus provided for us. But the next time you find yourself about to turn away from a question with an “I don’t care,” just make sure you ask yourself if that’s really what you mean, and if so, why.