RELEASING GOD'S KINGDOM IN THE EARTH
Complacency isn't taught much in church circles. There is a lot of talk about laziness, procrastination, lack of self-discipline and other character flaws along those lines. But there are not a lot of discussions about complacency.
If you're like me and haven't heard much preached or discussed about the subject, then I encourage you to please read this post. Because the Lord definitely had something to say about it that still applies today.
To begin, let's first look at the definition of complacency. Here is how Webster's defines the word:
The first thing to understand is context because I'm sure some who may read this are thinking, "what's wrong with approving oneself, congratulating oneself, etc." And the short answer is, nothing. But further context is provided when you begin to look at other pieces of the definition: laxity, carelessness, smugness. These words convey an attitude of being satisfied with doing just enough to get by. Not only being satisfied but approving or admiring one's own work or self for putting forth little to no effort in one's work, conduct, interaction with others, etc. Laxity suggests looseness. We are loose in our character, which carries over into looseness with everything else we do or say. We approve and congratulate ourselves without having done or said anything worthy of either sentiment. We are lazy without understanding that we need to do anything about it. That is the pinnacle of complacency. And it's an insult to God.
Zephaniah 1:11-12 says,
"At that time, I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are complacent, those who say in their hearts, 'The Lord will not do good, nor will He do ill.' Their goods shall be plundered, and their hearts laid waste. Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit (live in) them. Though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them."
You may ask why the Lord would come down hard in this manner. Because complacency is a spirit that manifests itself in the assumption that doing just enough is all that is needed to get by in life. That excellence requires no effort. That the work is what it is, and everyone just needs to accept that fact, including God. That, in fact, God doesn't really care one way or the other. Mind you, complacency is NOT contentment. One can be content in life. The Bible tells us that godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Tim. 6:6). But those that are content in life are still putting forth effort to attain excellence; they are still progressing and achieving (or looking for ways to do so) their objectives.
To be complacent is to not care anymore about anything or anyone; and to be proud about not caring. In a way, it's like giving up on life. For a kingdom person, this is an unacceptable way to live because a kingdom believer understands that the purpose for living this life is to produce fruit for God's kingdom that remains. Now, there are many different ways to produce fruit - just as there are many ways that gifts, talents, abilities, and anointing manifest among God's people. To give up on partnering with the Lord to bring His kingdom to the earth is giving up on God. If we look at this from the Lord's perspective, we can see complacency being a serious thing.
The good news - God always brings things right side up - is that we can allow the Holy Spirit to set us free from complacency. The Holy Spirit is the One who can break every tie or cord that binds us; He's the one that can set us free so that we can do what the Lord asks us to in a spirit of humility and excellence. The Holy Spirit is the One who can set us back on the path of achieving excellence in not only walking in godliness but in accomplishing the will of the Father in the earth.
Complacency is one of those silent "killers" of our faith in Christ. We have to look in the mirror of the Word of God, or in prayer to see it. We need the help of the Lord to see plainly. If it seems that you've lost your fire; if things are "comme ci, comme ca"* with you; if you feel like you're treading in place with no desire to move forward, then you may need to check to see if complacency is at the root of your discontent. Once you do, allow the Holy Spirit to step in and uproot it from your life so you can again move forward in Christ in His joy!
*comme ci, comme ca = French for so-so; neither good or bad
Janíce Bradley is a product consultant with Allstate Health Benefits in Jacksonville, Florida. She is also an author and editor with her own business, Exact Writing Services, LLC. As an editor, she provides line, content and copy editing for other authors and content writers. She is adept at proofreading for spelling and word usage, grammatical structure, and syntax for presentations, books, reports, manuscripts and websites.