Complacency – Why the Hurry?

Complacency – Why the Hurry? by Rev. Shine.P Thomas

Complacency- Why Hurry? is that our Attitude Today?

Where Does God Stand in your Life?

Illustration

There was a group of wild geese from North India flying across the farm lands of Karnataka. But as the geese flew one of the birds saw some other geese in the ground near a pond. So he decided to fly down and thus separated from his group. The other geese on the pond soon accepted the newcomer and he became part of the flock. The problem was that the Karnataka geese was a different breed, they were heavy birds and could not fly.

He stayed for a week, then a month, and then it turned into the entire winter. The man who owned the goose used to feed them so well. The wild goose enjoyed the new lifestyle.

Finally spring was approaching and the wild geese were flying back north again. The wild goose in the pond looked up – he could hear the honks of geese flying by and he was stirred with a strange thrill to join his old colleagues in flight. He tried with all his strength but he could not get off the ground. He had become so soft and heavy that he could not rise to be with his old friends and family.

Content with the Lower Things

So he dropped back to the pond again and said to himself, “Oh, why the hurry, my life is safe here and the food is good. Maybe the next spring I can go back with them” But every fall and every spring when he heard the wild geese honking overhead, his eyes would gleam for a moment and he would flap his wings. He did this for many years until one day he paid no attention to them. He was happy where he was.

The moral of the story is that if not careful overtime we can forget our high standards and be content with lower things.

This morning we are going to see how we can deal with the sin of complacency. Christians have become so comfortable in life that they have no hurry for the things of God.

Why The Hurry

Proverbs 1:32 

For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.

Complacency means a feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, feeling too comfortable in your present place. In other words complacency is feeling content for the wrong reasons. We can call it laziness, I will do it later attitude, laid back attitude.

Joke

A man told his doctor that he wasn’t able to do all the things around the house that he used to do. When the examination was complete, he said, “Now, Doc, I can take it. Tell me in plain English what is wrong with me.” “Well, in plain English,” the doctor replied, “you’re just lazy.” “Okay,” said the man. “Now give me the medical term so I can tell my wife.”

Complacency is one such thing it can get in to every area of our life. If we are not careful the more we get used to what we are doing we become very complacent in life.

Illustration

Motorola was once the dominant global provider of mobile phones. It was even described by one senior consultant as “the best-managed company in the World.” Then along came Nokia to puncture Motorola’s complacency. By 2000, the Motorola’s global market share had collapsed. In 2010 Nokia bought Motorola. Nokia too eventually became complacent and in 2013 Microsoft bought Nokia.

We have become complacent with our time with family

I have heard men say, “My family is very important to me.” Almost everyone would say that. Yet, statistics reveal that the average father spends 5-10 minutes a day with his children. We have become complacent with our time with family.

We have become complacent with our health

Some people say, “My health is really important to me.” Yet, do we exercise? “No.” Do we eat right? “No.” The 2013 report on India obesity shows that 35%-40% of all Indians are obese, 5-7% are morbidly obese. People have become complacent with their health.

We have become complacent in our finances

Are we materialistic? “Oh, no! Everyone else is but we are not.” Is our debt load getting bigger? Are we buying things that we cannot afford? Do we have credit card charges that we cannot pay? Do we have loans that we cannot pay and think of another loan? We have become complacent in our finances.

We are too busy for God and have become complacent with God

Is God important to us? “Yes! People say, “God is important to me.” Yet only a very low percentage of Christians live according to the word. We are not serious about God. We are too busy for God and have become complacent with God.

Scott Woodward

Every church is one generation away from apostasy. Apostasy is the abandonment of one’s religion. The one step before apostasy is complacency.

Signs of Christian Complacency

  • a. Christian life becomes a tradition. No first love, no passion, no motivation, going to church is a ritual.
  • b. Tolerance to sin.
  • c. No fruit.
  • d. No spiritual growth. We are happy where we are.
  • e. Self-Sufficiency.
  • f. Indulgence.
  • g. De-sensitivity.

1. Self-Sufficiency

Means having an extreme confidence in one’s own ability or worth.

Self-sufficiency is an attitude where I once struggled for things. I once used to be so God fearing and devoted to God. I used to pray get my things done. Now I have achieved something in life. I have my job, my house, my children, so I am self-sufficient and secure in what God has blessed me with. Now I do not have time for the Lord. Lord and the church is a matter of my convenience. I have money to meet my needs now.

The prophet Amos mentions about this sin of self-sufficiency. 

Amos 6:1 

Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come!

Since the days of Solomon Israel have been very powerful. Their military was the strongest. Their capital city was Samaria. It was located high on a hill with steep sides. The city was protected by almost impenetrable walls. The only way for an enemy to attack Samaria was by way of a long, winding road attached to a mountain on the other side. This road had a series of fortifications along the way. Samaria was a very strong city. The people thought it was impenetrable. It made them secure, self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency made them complacent.

Now that they were secure, the people lead a very comfortable lifestyle. Their desire of the Lord had come down. There was no hunger for righteousness and reverence to the Lord. God is telling, “Woe unto you, you complacent.”

Does God Stand First in your life?

God has blessed us with good jobs, good cars, good family and I see very often that people become self sufficient in their God given blessings. We have become so sufficient in our jobs, homes, comfort that the things of God are taking a second place in our life.

Self-sufficient people always give excuses for godly things. When complacency sets in, self becomes the priority. Then you find excuses for every situation. 

Luke 14:16-20 

16Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’18“But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19“Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20“Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ 21“The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant…
Listen, Jesus got angry with people when they were complacent and gave excuses for godly things. Remember all our comfort and security is given by God.

Amos 6:2 

Go to Kalneh and look at it; go from there to great Hamath, and then go down to Gath in Philistia. Are they better off than your two kingdoms? Is their land larger than yours? God reminds them of other cities they knew of that had been overthrown in recent years. Calneh, Hamath, and Gath were at one time equally powerful cities that had been destroyed. God is telling Israel is strong not because of its forts and gates. I am your security but you have become so comfortable in your security that you have lost your zeal for God.

God is telling to look at the others outside. In spite of our weakness and failure God has blessed us more than our friends and relatives. God is telling, “Remember it is from me, I can remove this blessing any time. So do not be self sufficient in your comfort.” Step out of your comfort zone.

2. Indulgence

Means – The behaviour or attitude of people who allow themselves to do what they want.

Such people have all the time and money for their personal pleasure, personal entertainment but no time and money for God.

Amos 6:4-5 

4You lie on beds adorned with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves.5You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments.

Complacency creates discontentment for worldly pleasures and makes us content with spiritual things. It leads us to vigorously pursue the earthly things, leaving us paralyzed in spiritual issues. It produces in us spiritual fatness and lethargy.

Here the Israelites have become so comfortable and secure that now all they are concerned about is their pleasure. They are having the best of things in their homes. Their food habits are the costliest. They keep improvising on their gadgets and items at home and church.

Their hearts were indeed set on the world, on its things and pleasures. They lived for themselves, for their ambitions and for their pleasures.

When the good earthly pleasures become our priority and pursuit [food, fun, television, internet, hobbies…etc], when our mind is dominated by the nice things of the world [work, business, family, friends…etc], when our heart is filled with more delight for material things [money, possessions, electronics…etc]—what could it be if not complacency? Is the Living God, by whom and for whom we exist, loved and pursued above all things?

3. De-sensitivity

No sensitivity for the things of God.

The people of Israel were so blessed by God that they failed to acknowledge where their blessing came from. They also failed to realize that to whom much is given, much is required. They not only did not carry out their responsibilities, they took advantage of their God given blessings and found out ways so that they could live in luxury.

Amos 6:6 

You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph. Refuse to grieve over the ruin of Joseph.

a. De-sensitivity to the need of the poor


The people of Israel were living in luxury but refused to do anything regarding the plight of the poor and needy all around them. Joseph’s brothers refused to do anything about his plight in the bottom of the well but they were busy enjoying a good meal while he was in the well.

Complacency makes us desensitized. It ruins our compassion for people. It hardens our heart from thinking about the welfare of those around us. When we are complacent, we ignore the pain of other people. Our heart is not moved by looking at the troubles of others. We lack generosity, hospitality, care and empathy. We neglect the helpless and hopeless, we are neglecting the ruin of Joseph.

b. De-sensitivity to the Kingdom 
Haggai 1:3-11 

3Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” 5Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. put on clothes, but are not warm. earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

7This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.8Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. 9“You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”

How is our response to the Kingdom?

When the kingdom lied in ruin, people were self-sufficient, indulged in earthly pleasures and did not grieve over the disaster that has come upon God’s children.

How is our response to the Kingdom? Do we love Jesus? Do we give to the Lord? Or participate in winning the lost? How is our attitude to the church?And our zeal when we go shopping? How is our zeal when we come to church? To buy one shirt we are willing to pay anywhere between 500-2000 rupees. But how many enthusiastic are we when we are giving to God?

Complacency can Destroy Us

In the Bible we can find a lot of people who failed and were destroyed because once they were God fearing and successful but complacency ruined them.

Terah, Samson, Saul, Judas and so on. Complacency can destroy us.


Proverbs 1:32

For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.

Isaiah 32:9-10 

9You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; you daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say! 10In little more than a year you who feel secure will tremble; the grape harvest will fail, and the harvest of fruit will not come. 11Tremble, you complacent women; shudder, you daughters who feel secure! Strip off your fine clothes and wrap yourselves in rags.


Revelation 3:15-17 

15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.


Amos 6:1 

Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come!

Illustration

The makers of the ship Titanic considered the ship to be unsinkable and thus did not carry enough lifeboats in proportion to the passengers onboard. The day the Titanic sank, they were supposed to have a lifeboat drill but Captain Smith cancelled the drill. Accidents happen but what killed more people in the Titanic tragedy was their complacency.

If you are not able to keep the fire and the love for God going then slowly the coldness of complacency will set in our lives. It will lead to spiritual stagnancy and eventually spiritual death.

Countering Complacency

Complacency is spiritual lethargy, spiritual laziness because people get comfortable in the things of the world. How do I keep going and avoid getting complacent?

1. Examine your life

2 Corinthians 13:5 

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

How is your worship? Do you have the zeal for God? How is your attitude to church? How is your giving? Are you caught up with the love of material things? See if you have become content for the wrong reasons.

1 Peter 2:1-3 

1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

2. Confess your sins

When a Christian becomes complacent, he tolerates sin. Sin is sin, do not tolerate it. Confess your sins. Do not go back to it anymore. When we fail to confess our sins we often feel uncomfortable pursuing God with all our heart. 

1 John 1:9

 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

3. Keep purpose clear

The Kingdom of God is the centerpiece of God’s purpose. Our purpose is heaven, our purpose is eternity. If you live your lives keeping eternity in mind, you will have no place to be complacent.

In order to achieve anything in life we need to work hard. So if you need to achieve your purpose in any area of your life, you need to work hard. The example the Bible gives us are the ants.

Proverbs 6:6-11 

6Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! 7It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, 8yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. 9How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? 10A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—11and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.

Remember complacent people will lose eternity.

Mark 13:33-37 

33Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. 35“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”

Complacency is a Deadly Foe

“Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth,” said A.W. Tozer.

Romans 12:11 

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord.
If we honestly examine our hearts, don’t you think we have fallen into the abyss of complacency? Don’t you suppose we are self-sufficient in our life, indulgent in worldliness and lack compassion for others? Don’t you think we need revival, mighty revival, tremendous awakening that will lead us to become passionate for God, drive us to love our Lord with our whole heart and mind, and cause us to care for others out of God’s love in our hearts for them?

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