Skip to main content

Complacency is not our friend

"The tragedy of life is often not in our failure, but rather in our complacency; not in our doing too much, but rather in our doing too little; not in our living above our ability, but rather in our living below our capacities." (Benjamin E. Mays) Complacency becomes the norm too many times in our lives - pleased at what we have become, accomplished, or been able to overcome - rather self-satisfied.  Complacency is one of the most cunning and deceiving enemies of our soul - all because we begin to see our "merits" and totally take our eyes off any "demerits" we might have amassed along the way.  When we focus only upon the merits of one's character, we are really making ourselves "unaware" of any potential flaws.  Those who forget their flaws have no desire to grow because they become content with what they already have done, experienced, or know in life.

I can do all things because Christ gives me the strength.  (Philippians 4:13 NLV)

Life is "done" in many ways.  We often find ourselves "doing life" on our own terms, in our own power, within our own devices.  Although this may seem "safer" than exploring into the unknown or "darker" areas of our life, we avoid what may be the most significant places where God's attention needs to be directed.  As Mays said, the danger is not that we will discover or do too much, but rather than we will become content with what has been done and never take another step further.  I don't always like change, but I have learned change brings with it certain benefits - not the least is that of realizing just how much of Jesus I still need in my life!

You may not know who Benjamin Mays was, but you will recognize the name of one of the individuals who learned at his feet - Martin Luther King.  Mays was a Baptist minister and one of the leaders in the Civil Rights Movement.  He spoke so eloquently about the idea of living with a purpose because he himself found his purpose in serving those God brought across his path.  As he said, “The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for, not failure, but low aim, is sin.”  Low aim - that is an apt illustration describing the reason we so many times just don't take another step, settling for what has been, when what lies ahead awaits us, almost beckoning to us, but we have turned a deaf ear to it.

We may not know what "things" God has in store for us, but we can be faithful to not "settle" for what has been.  The "all things" we can do are only possible when we don't allow complacency to become the pattern by which we live our lives.  Today's impossibilities are not put there to confound or confine us, but to give us room for growth - to expand our capacity.  Strength comes not in inaction, but in purposeful action toward a goal.  Inner change only concludes when all of Christ is resident within - something we really cannot measure, nor can we describe as "complete" until he says it is!  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce