Complacency in spiritual matters is a hazardous spiritual condition. It exposes us to the spiritual threats that surround us. It leads to apathy and, in the worst-case scenario, open rejection of Christ and his Word.
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A letter to the church in Laodicea is seen in Revelation 3:14-22. According to Christ, it's claim to fame is that they were “It's lukewarm.”
Lukewarmness is a spiritual condition that Jesus appears to despise. It could also be referred to as “self-satisfaction.” Contentment is not the same as complacency. Complacency has stopped walking when contentment finds joy in the blessings of walking with God.
Signs of Complacency
Here are four symptoms that you may be complacent. I realize that they aren't exhaustive, but perhaps they will prompt each of us to consider, “Is it possible that I'm becoming complacent?”
1. We think of ourselves as being more important than what God deems to be true.
In other words, we believe we are spiritually well when we are not. We measure our success by comparing ourselves to others, or even our previous failures. Instead, Scripture urges us to measure ourselves against Jesus' holiness. (See Luke 18:10-14 for further information.)
2. We have a self-sufficiency mentality.
“I can manage life and anything it throws at me,” we declare.
Every day, we place our faith in our own abilities to comprehend, decide, and act, believing that relying on God is either a dream or a nightmare. This type of dependency is not something we should have to deal with. (According to Proverbs 3:5-6)
3. We feel at ease in our current cultural environment. This side of heaven, a disciple of Jesus is never at ease. We stop thinking critically and spiritually when we associate ourselves too strongly with political views, groups, systems, and lifestyles. We stop striving for the Kingdom of God if we become too comfortable. Then we miss out on all that the Kingdom has to offer. (See 1 John 2:15-17.)
4. Without true spiritual understanding, we are spiritually fulfilled.
We have been saved by Jesus, yet we do not comprehend or desire life with Him. Whether or whether Jesus is present, our faith is about who gets to go to paradise when they die. We act as if sin forgiveness is a one-time event, yet we don't practice ongoing repentance and confession. Our prayers are for superficial, material gifts, not spiritual victory over the forces of evil. 6:12-18 (Ephesians)
What are the consequences of complacency?
The illustration above exemplifies this point.
We are oblivious to genuine spiritual danger. And…
1. We no longer have a personal relationship with Christ. (Matthew 7:21-23; Matthew 7:22-23; Matthew 7:22-23; Matthew 7
2. We are no longer involved in His plans. (Luke 15:8)
3. We are no longer equipped to deal with the future. And it is on its way! (Matthew 5:28-30)
Moving toward a renewed faith
For the most part, we all go through periods where complacency seems to take control. Our faith is a little shabby. We keep it in our back pockets, but we don't hold it in our hands as if our life depended on it.
Have you allowed yourself to get complacent? Do you claim Jesus' promises yet ignore the need of living in oneness with him?
In response to our spiritual complacency, I published this blog. Spiritual Complacency Reversed is the title of the book.
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What is complacency in the 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 are the causes of 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.
How do you know if you're complacent?
Assume you've just accomplished a significant life objective. What was it, exactly? Hiking the Appalachian Trail, paying off a loan, and having a car that starts on cold mornings are all possibilities. You may now kick it and enjoy life now that you've accomplished it. Right? Yes! Waitno. Well…maybe.
That's how perplexing life can be. You have goals you want to attain, but you also have a lot going for you right nowwhere does the inspiration to grow come from? To make a change? To get better?
Another way to ask that iswhat is the difference between being content and being complacent?
Contentment is a positive, proactive feeling. Being content with your existence necessitates precise self-evaluation and a thorough understanding of reality. Rather than limiting achievement, contentment might help people achieve more.
People who are satisfied are able to identify difficulties and find answers while still feeling satisfied. For a content person, work and pleasure go hand in hand because they choose life goals that are both achievable and maximize their abilities.
Complacency is a very similar feeling with one big difference: lack of awareness.
Feeling complacent is a reactionary, unpleasant feeling. Being satisfied but unaware of areas in your life that are harmful or flawedareas that require attentionis the definition of complacency.
People who are complacent reject and minimize issues, thus they do not regularly attempt to solve them. Complacent people may experience a false sense of security and fulfillment based on erroneous self-evaluation. Complacent persons may set life objectives that are unreasonable or disappointing because they don't know themselves well enough, resulting in lesser performance and satisfaction.
To return to the initial conundrum, you have goals that you desire to achieve. Where is the incentive to grow now that you have some excellent things going for you?
People that are content understand that they can stay motivated by appreciating what they have while still working toward new goals. Do you want to be happy? You can congratulate yourself on your accomplishments and set your objectives higher. You can take pleasure in the trip as much as the accomplishment.
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 is the danger of complacency?
“Complacency is the final barrier between every team and its true potential.”
You've done the necessary research to safeguard your company from unnecessary risk. You've assessed the threat, examined security measures, strengthened your IT infrastructure, implemented controls, created a business continuity plan, and trained your staff. So, what's next?
Even if you've taken tremendous steps to prevent and/or minimize losses, it's all in threat if individuals don't regularly carry out the day-to-day obligations required to keep risks in check.
Complacency is the adversary of excellence and can be the single greatest threat to any organization. It is that feeling of peaceful pleasure or security, frequently coupled by a lack of awareness of potential threats or shortcomings.
Complacency can result in catastrophic failure. Consider the now-famous Deepwater Horizon explosion, which claimed the lives of 11 people, injured 126 others, and resulted in a three-month-long oil leak. It was a disaster “According to a government study, the accident was “the result of poor risk management, last-minute modifications to plans, inability to observe and respond to vital signs, inadequate well control response, and insufficient emergency bridge response training.” Complacency, in a nutshell.
It's difficult to reverse a company's trajectory once complacency has taken hold. We'll look at four typical reasons of complacency in this article and show you how to avoid them.
How do you overcome complacency?
Remember that fire in your belly when you were on your way to accomplishing a goal? The goal could have been to complete a project, improve in your job, or win a sporting event. Each day, you arrived at work focused and energized. However, as you neared your objective, a subtle process began to take hold, one that I frequently witness as a performance coach. Did you begin to unwind and enjoy the perks of success? You didn't seem to be working with the same “edge”? Do you ever feel like you're the hunted rather than the hunter? Nothing appeared to be amiss or broken. Often, you won't notice any major alarms or warning indications in these instances. However, you soon realize that you are no longer at the top of the heap. Inevitably, complacency has crept in.
Consider professional sports as an illustration of why staying at the summit of the mountain you've climbed is difficult. Only eight teams have won the Super Bowl two years in a row in the past fifty years; no team has ever won the Super Bowl three years in a row. Or how about a trip to a Major League Baseball game? Only eight teams have won back-to-back World Series, with the Oakland Athletics completing a three-peat in 1972-74. Only fourteen teams have won consecutive titles in our country's 120-year history, including the Yankees.
Why is it so unusual for major sports teams to win two championships in a row? Why is it nearly impossible to win first place in any field more than twice? The reasons are complicated, but complacency can be blamed for at least some of the blame. Teams achieve their apex, wallow in the glory, and lose sight of the burning desire that propelled them to victory in the first place.
Athletes aren't the only ones who can benefit from these ideals. Entrepreneurs, artists, and leaders are just a few examples.
Start every day from scratch.
It's all about growing better every day if you want to achieve long-term success. Great performers are unconcerned by their previous achievements. When they come to work, they don't take days off. They come to work every day with the intention of improving. Every practice session, significant meeting, or presentation, the greatest performers I've dealt with have trained themselves to create goals. Continuous improvement is more than a slogan; it is a way of life.
Surround yourself with people who will tell you like it is.
People who are successful often draw followers who want to be associated with success but are unwilling to pay the price to obtain it. Their adoration is flattering, but it comes at a high cost. These adulators will not risk (or are incapable of) delivering honest feedback because they want to stay in someone else's spotlight. They are afraid that if they speak the truth, they will lose their position in the success circle. Many successful individuals, teams, and organizations have failed as a result of relying on these individuals as a barometer. It's worth noting that I started this paragraph with “successful people,” not “great people.” People who are consistently exceptional notice this possible trap door ahead of time and avoid falling into it, whereas people who are exclusively motivated by achievement frequently do not. (For more information, see ‘The Difference Between Success and Excellence.')
Focus on process instead of outcome.
People and organizations that achieve and maintain greatness establish a process for doing so. They adhere to the prescribed procedure with rigor. If they don't meet their objectives, they change their strategy. People who concentrate solely on results may achieve some success, but it will not be long-term. Without a technique, formula, or strategy that is, a process it is impossible to achieve constant success. (For further information, see ‘Understanding Process and Outcome.')
Continuously learn and adapt.
Many successful people and businesses rely on the same strategies that got them there to keep them there. This is frequently the start of the complacent loop. While basic principles and values should guide decision-making, to be sustainably exceptional, you must also modify tactics and approaches to stay current with best practices and market developments. Even the most conservative businesses, for example, have a social media strategy. They may have been apprehensive at first, but great companies realized that their employees and consumers communicate through social media and that they expect the businesses they support to do the same.
Recharge the batteries.
Excellent people are self-motivated. They do not work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and they frequently work for extended periods of time without what most people would consider “work-life balance.” At times, an imbalance may be required to reach the summit. However, you must schedule time for rest, relaxation, hobbies, introspection, and quality time with family and friends to prevent becoming complacent. This provides the required energy to keep innovating and succeeding. Otherwise, you'll end up like the hamster in the wheel. The hamster or the wheel eventually breaks down.
It is not necessary for success to lead to complacency. Accept the challenge of being exceptional rather than successful, and you won't have to worry about staying on top once you've arrived!
What is the difference between contentment and complacency?
It's difficult to tell the difference between contentment and complacency. Being content entails being joyful. Being complacent is refusing to put out the effort necessary to progress.
What are the types of complacency?
There are two sorts of complacency: complacency that is motivated by success and complacency that is motivated by failure. Our current success can blind us to the fact that we are no longer progressing.