“Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.”-Revelation 3:2-3
This weekend was a busy one for Natasha and I. One of the things I love about my wife, but struggle with some times, is the fact that she can’t sit still. She will say, “Hey! Let’s sit here and watch a show.” My reply, “Yeah, that sounds great!”
Then, five minutes in to the show, I will look over to see if she likes the show and she is sorting something or has wood cleaner with a rag out.
Either I’m bad company or she has a seriously distorted view of relaxing.
The reality is, she can’t handle relaxing when she knows there are things to get done.
So, all weekend, we were out doing yard work. Her ideal Mother’s Day was exactly what we did, cleaning up brush and cutting down dead limbs from a tree. It was nice and some work was accomplished that needed to be completed.
We could have easily sat inside and said, “You know? The yard has been like that for the past month or so (longer really), what would it hurt to wait longer or just not at all? It looks alright to us and that’s all that matters.” However, sooner or later the yard would get to looking worse and more work would have to be done to repair what we could have been doing all along.
This is what happens when we become complacent in our faith or even our church. We allow things to continue because we rest in the feeling of, “things look alright now and we are getting by, so why do anything else”. With that mentality we might be missing some great opportunities for growth, clearer vision, and maturity.
Here are three reasons complacency is a killer in our faith and church community:
1) We Lose Momentum: Our church or our faith might be moving along just fine, but when we settle for where we are and stop moving forward, we lose ground.We need to be constantly moving and growing with new ideas and new energy. We will never have a perfect program or perfect spiritual life, which is why we need to continue stepping into the Word, discovering new philosophies on ministry, and continue to revisit markers to see if we have achieved or are close to achieving our goals. Paul writes, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” (1 Corinthians 9:24; NASB) This running analogy implies movement and continuing to go until the end. If a runner stops, they lose. Let’s not lose in our faith journey and our ability to reach more people in our church community.
2) We Begin To Experience Atrophy: When we become complacent we begin to lack in production. When we are active in our faith development we continue in our excitement to share the joy of the gospel. We will produce good fruit and move in joy, love, peace, mercy, kindness, and grace. We will continue to grow strong in the faith and our foundation will remain firm. When the church allows complacency to seep in, the ministry grows weak. The outreach struggles and people don’t step through the doors because nothing is happening outside. The muscles of the church grow weaker. A church that doesn’t grow complacent will grow spiritually and numerically. Matthew shared an experience with Jesus in Matthew 21:18-19, “Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry. Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, ‘No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.’ And at once the fig tree withered.” (NASB) When the church or our faith life slows down, we wither, and we might lose the ability to produce anything good.
3) We Stop Learning: When we get complacent, we fail to see the need for anything new. We choose to ignore reading the scriptures because we think we have heard it all and know it all. We limit our prayer time to a routine of every meal and possibly before we go to bed. We don’t read books written by theologians or pastors because they don’t have anything to teach us or we aren’t excited to learn anything new in regards to spiritual development. Churches begin to think they have it all figured out. There is nobody or no curriculum that will bring anything different or better to what we are doing. We settle for the same old thing which people, even the outstanding members, become bored with. We can never stop learning or we will stop growing. In Proverbs, King Solomon, who was the wisest person to live in ancient times, shared thoughts on continued learning, “A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles.”(Proverbs1:5-6). If the wisest King ever felt that we wisdom comes from listening and learning, then why should we ever stop?
Complacency can kill us if we aren’t too careful. We need to continue moving forward in our faith and growth. We need to continue being faithful in our work and producing good fruit. We need to continue learning in order to be wise in our direction and ministry.
May we always focus on our growth. May we be wise enough to know we don’t have it all figured out. May we never grow complacent in our faith and ministry for the glory of God.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: Have you found yourself being complacent? How do you plan on fixing that?