“I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem’s darkest corners to punish those who sit complacent in their sins. They think the LORD will do nothing to them, either good or bad.” – Zephaniah 1:12.
If you asked a group of believers what the enemies of Christianity are you would probably get the following answers: “Sin.” “Satan.” “Pride.” Those are good answers; they are the enemies of Christianity. But would anybody say complacency?
Complacency is basically contentment with the status quo. Among Christians, it is contentment with the way things are—in one’s own spiritual life. You can be reading your Bible every day, going to church every week, etc., and still be complacent.
It is easy to want to tread water rather than face change and the unknown. Complacency can happen when we grow tired, lose focus, allow things contrary to God to flood our mind so we grow desensitized and question our passion for the process of growing and yearning after God; and most importantly applying it to our life. Galatians 6:9 tells us, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
One sure way to battle competency is to spend time in the Word. If Jesus is the Word, and the Word is alive, then when we read the Bible, we are having an actual, real conversation with the Living God. It’s not just reading to read — it’s reading towards a deeper relationship. Another way to battle complacency is to make a commitment. When someone asks me to sign up for something new — something that adds a new discipline or a new area of service, consider making a commitment, even if it is short-term. When you commit to a short-term spiritual challenge, you will most likely be motivated to keep going.
The third way to battle complacency is by creating time and space for God to speak to you. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to do all the things that we do for God, and never give God the chance to speak to us. When God speaks to you, it will change everything. Complacency fades because God becomes real.
When the Jesus you know about is replaced by the Jesus you know, complacency will be a thing of the past. “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.” (Job 42:5 ESV)
- Is it difficult to recognize when complacency has set in? Why?
- What can we do this week to counteract any complacency in our lives?