“What is the spiritual equivalent of shutting off my camera and microphone?” I've been wondering as the subject of spiritual complacency has been on my mind and heart.
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Being present, but not truly. Maybe you're better at it than I am, but I find it simple to get distracted when my camera is turned off and my microphone is muted. I believe one of the ways Satan lulls us into thinking “everything is well in Zion” is through distraction.
“And whatever ye do, do it wholeheartedly,” says the scripture in Colossians Chapter 3. Let us be completely committed to Jesus Christ and His message in our love and discipleship!
Does this imply that we are without flaws? No! But it does imply that we are attempting to increase our discipleship and live the two great commandments with all of our hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits.
We read in Acts Chapter 5 about a man and his wife who resisted. “However, a man named Ananias, who was married to Sapphira, sold a possession and kept a portion of the money.”
“Otherwise worthy members of the Church, ‘held back' a portion instead of consecrating their entire estate,” Elder Neal A. Maxwell stated of them. Some people would never sell Jesus for thirty dollars, but they also wouldn't give Him their all!”
We read about wholehearted Paul in Chapter 20 of the same book, who “held nothing back.” There is a distinction to be made between giving and giving everything, like Paul did.
I am convinced that Heavenly Father expects us to be fully committed and deliberate in our discipleship. He wants us to not only be where we're intended to be, but also to be there in such a way that we can do and feel what He wants us to do and feel while we're there.
The story of the 10 virgins is found in Matthew 25. Five of them were prudent, since they arrived prepared and waiting for the bridegroom. The other five were blundering since they turned there as well, but with insufficient reserves. They ran out of oil when the bridegroom took longer than expected to arrive, and while scrambling to locate more, they missed the bridegroom's return.
The door to the wedding feast was closed by the time they discovered additional oil. “Lord, Lord, open to us,” they prayed. But Jesus responded, “Truly, I say unto you, you do not know me.” Isn't it true that all 10 young women showed up?
We know they represent church covenant members. They were exactly where they needed to be: at the wedding to which they had been invited. However, only half of them had planned in such a way that they could benefit from their presence.
When we are in sacred placesbe it Sunday meetings, the temple, around the dinner table, or even with other peopleif we are continually checking social media, texting, and tweetingif our minds are elsewherewe are limiting, if not completely stopping, the Holy Ghost's ability to speak with us.
Then we question why we didn't get anything from our visit. “When you stand in holy places, be totally there,” a wise friend advises. That is fantastic tip! Allow the Spirit to teach us by being present.
Your wholehearted joyful discipleship is desperately needed in the world. Bridges must be built, friends must be established, testimony must be shared, and Zion must be built.
You can assist prepare the world for the return of Jesus Christ by reaching out to those on the edges and making the world a better place.
We have been invited to engage in “great labor,” which will need us to be deliberate in how we spend our time, abilities, and energy.
The gospel is what we practice! In the following verse from 3 Nephi 27:21, notice how many times the verb “do” is mentioned:
“Truly, truly, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the deeds that you have seen me perform, ye shall likewise do; for what ye have seen me do, ye shall do.”
My mother instructed my brothers to remove furniture and rip out the old carpet in the bedrooms the night before the new carpet arrived, so that the new carpet could be put the next morning. Emily, who was seven years old, was fast sleeping in her bed.
My brothers removed all of the other furniture from her room, as well as everything off the walls and closeteven the carpetwhile she slept comfortably. Then they had a bad ideathey planned to prank their young sister, like big brothers all around the world do from time to time.
“Emily, we've relocated.” In a few days, we'll write to let you know where we are. Your family, with love.” Emily did not show up for breakfast the next morning, as she usually did. My mother dispatched one of my brothers to retrieve her. Although Emily was not in her bed, my brother heard screaming coming from within the closet. Emily was huddled up in a ball, sobbing her little heart out.
“No one likes me, not even my own family,” I believed as a 7-year-old. I was shattered. But what would have occurred if I had simply thrown open the door? What would I have heard if I had been there? What would I have smelt if I had been there? I should have realized I wasn't alone.
I would have known if I had been truly loved. It never occurred to me to take action in response to my predicament. I simply gave up and cried in my closet. But, if I had just opened the door…
I know there have been moments in my life when I've felt metaphorically like tiny Emily sitting in her closet, lost and abandoned, but not taken the necessary measures to grow in trust in Jesus Christ, improve my spiritual capacity, and seek out and feel the peace of covenant membership.
One of the many things I admire about Jesus Christ is how calmly He waits with arms wide open, waiting to embrace us in his love. He gives us the freedom to exercise our agency and grow in our discipleship.
This choosing and growing in our faith, as the prophet has called us to do, necessitates our participation! So here's my challenge to each of you: let's put the gospel of Jesus Christ into action.
Let's be where we're supposed to be, at the right time, and fully engaged! As we do so, I can attest to the fact that our confidence in Jesus Christ and delight in His message will grow.
How do you treat complacency?
The “treatment” for complacency is difficult to sum up, but it can be achieved by making a conscious, ongoing effort to apply safety tactics and habits to the operation. The organization must maintain its focus on continuous improvement rather than relying on previous triumphs.
How can you constantly defend and nourish your faith?
How to Maintain Your Faith in the Face of Adversity
- Pray. For the strength to love to your greatest potential, pray to God, the universe, or whatever higher force you believe in.
What is complacency in church?
However, over the last few years, I've discovered that when things begin to fall apart around me, I can usually pinpoint the source: my complacency.
Complacency, defined as “a feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's successes,” is at the foundation of many of my failures, including at job, in relationships, and in my Christian walk. I become my own god when I get complacent.
Suddenly, it's my requirements that aren't being satisfied. I start giving myself credit for any accomplishments.
On the other hand, when I embrace uncomfortability (a word I believe I coined), my relationships blossom, my professional success increases, and my faith grows. When I reflect on my life, I notice that the turning points are frequently times when God yanked me out of my comfort zone, stripped me of my apparent “safety,” and taught me to rely on Him.
Consider the definition of complacent once more: “a feeling of smug or uncritical pleasure with oneself or one's accomplishments.” It can also be characterized as “a feeling of contentment with the way things are and a lack of desire to improve them.”
The enemy's favorite technique for luring us into a false sense of entitlement is complacency. We are in problems when we are satisfied with our religion to the point where we no longer seek a closer relationship with God.
Complacency is a hazardous place to be for believers. Take a look at what the Bible says about becoming complacent:
“I will search Jerusalem with lamps at that time, and I will punish the ones who are stagnant in spirit, who declare in their hearts, ‘The Lord will not do good or evil!' -Zephaniah 1:12 (NASB)
“To me, living is Christ, and dying is gain.” If I'm going to keep living in this body, I'll have to put in a lot of effort. But what should I do? “I'm not sure!” Philippians 1:1122
We live in a time where we all walk on eggshells, fearful of offending or making someone uncomfortable with what we say. Our churches, small groups, and faith communities have all been touched by political correctness.
Sunday mornings have too frequently become a time when we sit next to each other and pat each other on the back, congratulating each other on being “good Christians.” We are often terrified of spiritual accountability and of challenging one another.
In early 2017, I saw this complacency firsthand. As my wife and I's prison ministry grew in popularity, I became comfortable with people attending our lectures and services and having a wonderful time. I found myself more concerned with raising attendance numbers than with people in attendance's spiritual growth.
People were blown away by our numbers, and we were inundated with compliments. I rapidly became enamored with the seeming “success” and lacked the motivation to move the ministry forward. I relied on my own plans for service rather than God's.
It took a few good friends and a few of failed programs for me to realize that I was doing everything wrong.
“Why don't your disciples follow the traditions taught by our ancestors?” the Pharisees and specialists in Moses' Teachings asked Jesus. They're unclean because they eat without washing their hands!”
“Isaiah was right when he foretold about you hypocrites in Scripture,” Jesus informed them.
“You disobey God's commands in order to follow human customs.” “You have no problem ignoring God's commands in order to maintain your own customs!” he said.
It's all too easy to smear the Pharisees, yet that paragraph is unequivocally condemning. It could (and should) just as easily be me that Jesus is chastising here.
I've recently talked (and written) a lot about my recent struggles with the Evangelical Right, a group with whom I used to identify. The more I studied complacency and read what Scripture says about it, the clearer it seems to me what is going on.
Rather than being rooted in the Bible, we've arrived to a position where our beliefs are guided by a political party rather than God's word.
I enjoy sitting down and conversing with people that hold opposing viewpoints to mine. Understanding their opinions and being challenged is really valuable to me, because it is when they challenge my beliefs that they reinforce mine.
It's a basic question that we aren't asked nearly enough, yet the response to it determines who we are.
Many of us, including myself, reach a point where it is far easier to be “content with way things are, and unwilling to try to improve them.” After all, it's more convenient that way.
I take comfort in the fact that Christ confronted individuals head-on. He pushed everyone, whether it was the Pharisees or His disciples, to repent, run after God, and be who they were designed to be.
We weren't designed to be smug. God wants us to chase after Him and love Him with all of our hearts. We were made to be in need of Him and to be with Him.
What causes people to be complacent?
“Why do we grow complacent, comfortable, and bored as individuals? … I've got a fire in my belly. I'm going to start each day with a goal in mind and work toward it. I'm tired of being bored and not doing things I enjoy.” Dave Gerber is a well-known author and businessman.
Dave was posing a rhetorical question to the audience. Our brains are programmed to keep us secure, which is why we become complacent, comfortable, and bored. Fear of failing or the opinions of others might lead us to become complacent, comfortable, and bored. Those fears are powerful forces that can lead to restricting ideas, attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that limit our ability to achieve our full potential, relationships, happiness, and fulfillment. We are held back by fear.
In January, I had a brief encounter with Dave in Las Vegas. He had already determined to face his fear and commit to living the life he deserved and desired when we met. He'd been given the extremely valuable gift of perspective. Our meeting spurred him to take action even farther. I received this email from Dave a few weeks later:
My name is Dave Garber, and I work for the Workfront company. About two weeks ago, you gave a fantastic presentation at our annual sales kickoff. For me, it was about more than just sales. You told a wonderful tale about your father that inspired me, and I'd like to share a few highlights from my 2016 experience.
In May of last year, at the age of 36, I was suffering vertigo and had a stroke while visiting a chiropractor (way too young for that). When someone twists your neck, it's virtually everyone's worst nightmare. A Vertebral Artery Dissection was discovered in my body (basically an injury inside your artery). Fortunately, and miraculously, I was able to walk out of the hospital three days later, astonishing the physicians, with a hazy brain and a completely new viewpoint. I wandered around my yard, touching the grass and the weather, stunned that I had escaped a lethal bullet that could have killed my wife and four children. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't appreciate every moment. After that, I forged ahead and returned to work, oblivious to the dizziness, headaches, fatigue, and frustration that had followed.
Then, towards the end of October, my siblings and I received a text message informing us that my 65-year-old father was in the hospital. For some reason, he was suffering from kidney failure. The next morning at 1 a.m. in the ER, they discovered a tumor on his kidney and lung. I was in the same room where I had been treated for a stroke only a few months previously. They started running tests, and within three days, they discovered lesions all over his body. To cut a long tale short, he's been in and out of the Huntsman Cancer Institute for the past three months with the worst case of Multiple Myeloma (a type of blood cancer) they've ever seen. They collected us all at the end of December since he was likely going to die that night. Despite the odds, he has made some progress. Fractures all over his body, agony, tiredness, chemo, radiation, and other treatments have all become his new normal.
The idea is that your presentation inspired me and struck a chord with me. Particularly the part about your father. Discomfort and struggle, I learned in 2016, can either bury you or radically enrich and build you up in ways that nothing else can. My father is an inspiration to me, and he is fighting cancer like a champ.
My stroke taught me to value everything. Even the ability to be in the company of strangers while still breathing.
Why do we grow complacent, comfortable, and bored as individuals? I'm on fire because of these experiences and your incredible presentation. I want to write a book simply because it's something I've always wanted to do. And I'm going to start each day with a goal in mind and work toward it. I'm tired of being bored and not doing what I want to do. Thank you for a wonderful presentation.
Dave is correct. During times of adversity, growth can be accelerated. Reflecting on our lowest moments, I feel they are possibilities to create truly defining moments. Those are the moments that move us forward, further and faster, toward becoming more of who we are capable of becoming in the direction of our aspirations.
I respect Dave's feeling of urgency, and I answered by telling him that my own sense of urgency was created during a health scare in late 2015. Dave expressed his gratitude for the gift of perspective that his experience provided:
“To avoid sounding careless, it's interesting to learn that you had a health concern in 2015. It's like being a member of a club that no one wants to join, yet I'm pleased mine happened. “Life is freakin' short, but it's also frickin' valuable.”
Do you have a burning desire inside of you? Are you fed up with feeling complacent, at ease, and bored? Do you want to get out of your rut?
Everything we require to get what we deserve and desire is already within us. It was placed there specifically for us. You have the ability to recover what you were created for at any time.
I'd like to ask you to come along with Dave and me. Make a decision on what you desire. Make grandiose plans. Commit. Make a note of it. Right now, do it. Please post it in the comments section of this blog. Give it to someone you care about. Determine the most critical next step you can do to build momentum and drive you in the right direction. Go ahead and do it.
Everything changes when you start each day with a goal and commit to achieving it. Most likely, you'll be free of boredom and dread, and you'll be able to pursue the things you truly desire.
What causes complacency?
Intensive workload, low equipment knowledge/understanding, steep authority gradient, lack of teamwork, poor communication, efficiency-thoroughness trade-off, crewing tactics, and lack of organisational fairness were cited as causes of complacency.
What is the meaning of Proverbs 10 4?
“He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich,” says Proverbs 10:4.
Dr. Bill Edgar, former Geneva College president and longstanding pastor in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, is a member of the Geneva College Board of Trustees (RPNCA)
The percentage of American men aged 30-50 who are unemployed has risen from 5% in 1960 to 15% in 2010. How do they manage to stay alive? They are mostly supported by their mothers, wives, and girlfriends, as well as some Social Security disability benefits. What exactly do they do? They sit in front of the TV, sleep, hang out, do some househusband and under-the-table work, blame others for their predicament, and play video games. The number of idle poor people significantly outnumbers the number of idle rich people.
This proverb, on the other hand, is not about unemployment or other causes of poverty, such as oppression, war, illness, natural disasters, or even Satan's permissible malice (see Book of Job). It's all about whether you do your job with a “slack hand” or with zeal.
A person with a “slack hand” works carelessly, sloppily, and, certainly, deceitfully. He frequently says, “Good enough,” rather than attempting to perform exceptional work. The “good enough” worker deludes himself into believing that everything would be alright, but he, like the unemployed person, is on his way to poverty. On a job, a home painter paints the windows shut and then wonders why business prospects vanish. After years of dedicated service, the office worker shaves minutes off the start and finish of her day and wonders why she hasn't received a promotion. The contractor spends 45 minutes with the homeowner, 15 minutes with the Home Depot employee, stops for coffee and donuts on his way to work, and then can't figure out why tasks always take longer than he expected. People who labor with a “slack hand” frequently choose to remain culpably uninformed about why they are unable to “go ahead.” This adage advises them to assess the quality of their work objectively.
What does the diligent's hand accomplish? It makes you wealthy. Diligence does not imply that one is a workaholic who finds significance solely in their work. It entails completing tasks on time and to a high standard, as well as being dependable, thorough, and truthful. The word “excellence” isn't just a catchphrase for the conscientious. The diligent's passion is excellence, and his catchphrase is “do it well” rather than “good enough.” Diligence does not always result in wealth, but it almost always provides for our basic requirements, with some left over for others (Ephesians 4:28). The industrious nonetheless gravitate towards prosperity in a world corrupted by sin and afflicted with weeds that complicate work, while careless, slack-handed workers tend towards poverty. That basic commandment is God's “feedback loop” for encouraging people to work in His world, to “subdue it (Genesis 1:28)” while caring for the environment and replenishing it with children.
What is being complacent?
It's good to be happy at work and to feel at ease with your coworkers, supervisor, and company. Why would you even contemplate pushing yourself beyond of your comfort zone if you actually enjoy your work?
What do you pray in difficult times?
Father in Heaven, I'm lonely and battered, tears well up in my eyes, and I toss and turn at night.
I need to know that you care, that you love me, that you will be my sanctuary from agony, that you will replace my distress with calm, and that you will be my strength when I am weak and unable to continue.
Help me not to be afraid of the future, but to trust that you are in charge when my emotions overwhelm me and I am in despair. Help me to “Be quiet, and know that you are God” when I can't speak or don't know what to say.