Free to Be the Me God Wants: Part IX
The animation clip shows a cautious pedestrian waiting at a crossing lane. He pushes the button and waits for the light before crossing. He waits and waits and waits then looks up and down the street several times. Since there’s no traffic, he wonders if it safe to cross. Growing impatient, he steps into the road. Amazingly, the light changes when his foot hits the pavement. At the next stop, the same thing happens, but he tests the pavement a little sooner. With each intersection, he meets similar success until he skips the rest of the way to his destination. The next day, with no reservations, he steps onto the road, certain the power to change the light was in his feet. He is surprised when he comes head to head with a semi.
This man’s dangerous complacency is all too universal. We fall into its pit because we believe the same set of circumstances will bring about the same result. Only when the chair comes crashing to the floor do we wish we had tested it before sitting down.
Complacency is defined as a feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, an inability to sense danger. Complacency damages the Christian because our action or inaction is based upon a flawed assumption. Our animated friend was quite content, but his self-confidence led him into a death trap. He put his faith in his own feet rather than in God’s power.
Author, Kevin Eikenberry lists five faces to complacency in the corporate world. Perhaps these same truths apply to the Christian experience as well.
The Champions: Why change the tried and true? “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
The Resigned: What’s the point in striving if the effort won’t bring you closer to the goal? “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
The Comfortable: When life seems good, why change? “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
The Tired: How can I climb to the heights when I can’t even manage the first step? (We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8).
The Lazy: Why push any harder than what is necessary to get through the day? “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
We can avoid complacency by staying close to where God is for as he breathes in us, we are being continuously changed and readied for eternity. The Israelites had wandered in the desert for forty years. Then God told them to move… to cross the Jordan and claim the promise given decades before. No matter where we are in the sea of complacency, once we set our sights back to Jordan, God will pull, push, or prod us out of our complacency toward an ever increasingly vibrant Christian experience.
“The LORD our God said to us at Horeb, "You have stayed long enough at this mountain” Deuteronomy 1:6.