Thursday, April 26, 2012

What's so Bad about Complaceny?

 "Instead of growing, we become stagnant.  And, when we cease to grow, we affect those around us, especially our children."

Complacency.  What's so wrong with the being self-satisfied?  We're supposed to be content, so that's kind of the same thing, right?  I'm learning more and more that there is a big danger with being complacent with life.  Contentment is a whole different word, but we may be tempted to confuse the two, so we can justify our complacent attitude.  

When we are complacent, we are not motivated to move forward.  We are happy with the way things are and have no desire to change anything in our lives.  So, we are pretty much worthless because we are only concerned about keeping things just the way we want them.  Instead of growing, we become stagnant.  And, when we cease to grow, we affect those around us, especially our children.  I want my children to look at me and see that, though I make mistakes, I am always striving to grow stronger in Christ.  If they see a mom who is only concerned with herself and a mom who is not growing in Christ, they will think this is what Christianity looks like. They will think that it is easy being a Christian because it doesn't require any growth or sacrifice on our part.  

No, I don't want my children to see my life characterized by complacency.  I do, however, want my children to see that I am content.  Contentment is very different from complacency.  When someone is content, it means they maintain a good attitude amidst their circumstances in life.  They are not trying to escape a hard season in life, but are embracing it and seeing what God has to teach them.  At the same time, a contented person is not stagnant; they are continually growing as they embrace life. 

How can I discover when I am being complacent and what can I do to overcome a complacent attitude?

  • Stay in God's Word.  If I am not in His Word, then I am filling my mind with worldly things.  By focusing on His Word, my thoughts are more in line with Him. 
  • Surround myself with opportunities to serve.  By serving others, I keep the focus off myself.  I can do this by volunteering at church, or by going to a nursing home or food shelter.
  • Encourage myself with stories of others.  By reading inspirational stories and books, it helps motivate me to keep growing.
  • Try not to miss what God is teaching me now.  Instead of rushing through a trial or season, focus on what God is teaching you now.
  • Think about eternal things.  Instead of getting caught up with earthly things, set your mind on things above. 
  • Evaluate myself by asking questions like, "how am I growing?" If you can't think of anything, ask God to show you how you can grow.

"I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 3:14

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