As we head toward the end of October, you just can’t help but notice the increased focus on being scarred. As Americans we love movies that scare us. I’m not a fan of the horror genre, it just creeps me out a little too much and I like to sleep at night. There has been some good news this year as clowns are finally being seen for what they truly are, evil. Is there anything that truly scares you?
As I have gotten older there is one thing that truly scares me and that’s complacency. Especially in my relationship with Jesus. Complacency is deadly. It can creep into our marriages, our work and our health. Spiritually, physically and emotionally complacency can cause much damage. Has complacency led us to this point and time in our nation? I believe that on the whole, Christians have become complacent and it has come home to roost.
Being zealous is the opposite of complacent. Which one am I? Which one are you?
It’s either one or the other, there is no in between. The world is clearly more tolerant of complacent Christians than they are of zealous followers of Christ. Has that attitude permeated the Church?
“One must be more zealous to please God than avoid sin.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
It’s easy to be zealous about worldly things. Just channel surf on a fall Saturday and Sunday, zealousness fills up sports cathedrals all across the country. You can use the word zealous to describe the political climate and the desire for more and better things. Because what we have now just isn’t enough.
Zealous would also describe the non-sense that has taken political correctness to an absurd and incredible state. We can no longer look at someone by their gender or sex, it is offensive to call someone a he or a she and now if you are born of a certain skin color, you are racist because you are born that way and you just can’t help it. And the reason we are here is that those of us, and I have to believe the vast majority of folks with some common sense, have sat complacent and let this happen.
“For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.”
Psalm 36:2 (NIV).
To quote a famous comedian, “You can’t fix stupid.” Unfortunately, we have allowed “stupid” to fly the plane. How well do you think this will end?
But back to complacency, one of the more sinister aspects is that it creeps up on you slowly and you don’t realize that it has you until it’s almost too late. Complacency is warm and comfortable until you realize it’s not a frog in boiling water, it’s you. We cannot become complacent in our walk with Christ. To take an idea from Jeff Foxworthy, here is a list of things that may mean you are a Complacent Christian:
- You think daily Bible reading is the scripture you read from someone’s Facebook page or the scripture of the day you get on your phone.
- You are a regular attender at church but also a regular non-participant or volunteer.
- Your idea of sharing Jesus is the fish symbol on your vehicle that people see when you pass or cut them off on the interstate.
- Your prayer life more closely resembles the spirituality of the Kardashians than the depth of the prayer lives of Jesus, Daniel, David, Paul, etc.
- You will do anything, and by anything it includes sitting in the blistering sun, extreme cold, torrential rain, early morning or late at night, to do something you think is fun but will let a cloudy sky or a tickle in your throat prevent you from coming to church.
- Your idea of serving the Lord is anything that doesn’t take up a lot of time and has minimal contact with potentially lost people.
- Your idea of sacrifice is sitting through a sermon past noon.
- You think you are suffering persecution when you have to listen to music you don’t like during worship.
- You are happy with being comfortable rather than being convicted.
- You consider the trip to buy candy for the Fall Festival a mission trip.
- You think it’s somebody else’s job to pray for or be concerned about abortion, the lost, the poor, the persecuted, the sick, the hurting, the lonely, the discouraged until something like this hits close to your family.
- You worry more about what people think of you than what God knows about you.
- You have decided that you have done all you can do and need to do for Jesus.
- You watch and listen to things that you know are sinful but compromise because you think it’s not that bad and everybody else does the same.
- You think you know it all or enough and no longer think there is anything you need or want to learn about God.
- You are more concerned about what you have than what you give.
- You care about abortion but show no concern for orphans or hungry children or vice versa.
- You have your “Golden Ticket” to Heaven and think you aren’t called to do anything else.
- You are more concerned about “You” than you are about “Others.”
- You are more offended by “Zealous” followers of Christ than “Complacent Christians.”
“Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain.”
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God.
I will end this week with something a pastor had written. If it doesn’t in some way speak to us then maybe we have surrendered to complacency rather than resolve to be zealous for Christ.
The Complacent expect the Cross to come to them, the Zealous run to the Cross!