This is an excerpt from a conversation I was having with a friend concerning spiritual coldness:
“On the side of spiritual coldness, there is more to be considered. The point I was trying to make was that we should not over-react and consider ourselves spiritually dull if we only have an ordinary day by day joy in the Lord that does not “explode” into great bursts of joy for us regularly. That would be a wrong evaluation of things.
On the other hand, though, if there is a regular day by day coldness towards the things of God, an indifference towards spiritual things, a consistent apathy or even a slight distaste/repugnance towards them, and that coldness of such a sort lasts for a span of time, then it certainly is something to stop and take serious note of. What do we do when in such a situation?
First, tying to what I have already said, this should be seen as a deeper issue rather than a merely surface issue. The lack of explosive joy is a somewhat surface level issue. The lack of a deep and abiding joy day by day is a deeper one. And recognizing that leads me to think that the answer should be pursued accordingly. Specifically, I think we would be wrong to think that the answer to such a condition is to seek a surface level explosive-joy moment or hour or day. We fall into the trap of thinking that the solution to deeper level coldness is just “one great day” of heightened joy. That might be a good thing, and might even be used as a start to the answer, but I would tend to think that the answer to a deeper level coldness day by day will have to be a day by day pursuit of God that lasts for some time. Just as the problem here is longer-term and deeper level, so also will the solution have to be. We are going to have to day by day for a period of time intentionally choose the things of God and teach ourselves to delight in them again. Let us choose to read our Bible and meditate on those things rather than whatever else we might be inclined to do. And let us give that the priority day by day for a number of weeks (or longer or shorter; I don’t mean to specify a particular time frame as the universal marker). Let’s see where that gets us. Let’s consistently throughout the days of this span of time seek to practice love and patience and kindness, etc. Let’s think spiritually and pray for God’s help. It might take some time to work deep change that is substantial and lasts. One great experience is not the key to that.”