Complacency is defined as self-satisfaction, especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.
In some reading last week, I came across the following quote by A. W. Tozer: “Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth.” For some reason, that quote stuck with me. I re-read it several times. I wrote it down in my journal and spent time over the last week thinking about it. I asked the Lord to search my life and point out any areas of complacency in my spiritual and everyday life. I had conversations with people over the last week and complacency in life, work and the spiritual journey came up.
As I studied and read last week, Acts 2:42 kept coming to my heart. It says, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” This verse is found in a passage of scripture about life in the early church. You can quickly find four things that are really important for these people:
- The apostles’ teaching
- Breaking of bread (communion)
The four things can become routine. They can be missed or skipped, and then we can find ourselves comfortable and complacent. These four things were critical for them as individuals and also the church as a whole.
The word that I think we often miss is the word “devoted.” To be devoted means to be zealous or ardent in attachment, loyalty, or affection. These people were devoted to these things because they were not just a list of things, they were disciplines that they leaned into to make an impact for the kingdom. These disciplines were their lifeline to Christ and to each other.
In our Western Christianity, it is so easy for us to become complacent. We are over-devoted to things that do not really matter in the grand scheme of life. When we become over-devoted to things that do not really matter, our focus on the disciplines (lifelines to Christ and each other) takes a hit, and complacency sets in, and we do not even recognize it.
A couple of thoughts as I close:
- Ask the Lord to search your everyday and spiritual lives to see if there are any signs of complacency to be found. If he points them out, deal with them.
- Ask yourself the following question: How devoted am I to the things that really matter?
Praying for you and me as we strive to devote ourselves to the kingdom things that matter the most.