To the church in Laodicea - the complacent church - Revelation 3:15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! - earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
How would you define complacency; one wag suggested that it was a question of ‘Mind over Matter; id you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” It is often framed in terms of being pleased, especially with oneself or one's merits, advantages, situation, etc., often without awareness of some potential danger or defect.
Complacency is so often a blight that saps energy, dulls attitudes, and causes a drain on the brain. The first symptom is satisfaction with things as they are. The second is rejection of things as they might be. “Good enough” becomes today’s watchword and tomorrow’s standard. Complacency makes people fear the unknown, mistrust the untried, and abhor the new. Like water, complacent people follow the easiest course-downhill. They draw false strength from looking back.
Imagine if complacency were a person in your life. Mr. Complacency would come up beside you, admire that shiny gold star of yours, and then whisper smugness-inducing flattery like:
- “People think you’re so great. Lucky you—you’ve got it made without even trying.”
- “Everything is going just fine. Why accept a new challenge where you might fail?”
- “You’re okay just the way you are. Why work to improve yourself?”
- “Compared to some people—cough—you’re not that bad!”
- “From what I hear, Thomas Edison and Bill Gates never got a gold star.”
Listen to Mr. Complacency long enough and he’ll convince you that what you really, really need is a nap.
But don’t kid yourself. The cost of complacency is real, and it can be tragic. We slide into habits of mediocrity and excuse making. Life gets boring, and we’re not sure why. We know, or at least suspect, that there’s a lot more we could do or be. But floating along, there’s no way to be sure. Might as well take another nap.
Loving Lord, help us. We pray not to be complacent in any way. Not self-satisfied in any way, unfeeling or smug. We want to live lives that glorify you, help us to love you with all our heart and soul and mind and strength today.
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