Overcoming the sin of complacency

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed the way we live. While we have a greater understanding of the problem now, there have also been some missteps, such as failures of accurate detection, poor planning and the inability to control the community spread of the virus globally. During this time of global crisis, each of us is doing our best to respect the laws and safety regulations. As there is much uncertainty about when the pandemic will end, all of us are to be on our guard. We cannot enter into passivity.

Another example of not being able to be passive is during battle, where soldiers cannot be laid back. In war times, they are to be on the move and be vigilant. Similarly, Olympic contestants cannot afford to be inactive during their competitions. Their eyes are fixed on the Olympic medals they are going to win for their countries.  In highly seasonal industries, business people cannot afford to be indifferent. Students who are determined to ace their exams will not be able to slack. Complacency in these areas will only lead to failure or destruction.

What about Christians? Are we to be complacent? On the contrary, we are to embrace vigorous actions rather than slipping into easy passivity. As a result, we must mentally prepare ourselves to take action. The Holy Spirit reminds believers to have the mindset of a soldier, which is radically different from that of a civilian. A soldier anticipates the hardships and risks of battle while a civilian does not. Christians are like athletes competing in a race with discipline and hard training, which is not expected of spectators. The Spirit also wants us to think of farmers whose long hours over a long period of time produce a harvest. For this reason, the initial portion of the crops should go to the hard-working farmer, and the consumers have no part in it.

Throughout the Bible, God warns us of the sin of complacency. When we study Israel’s history, we can see how the Israelites forgot God’s love, grace and mercy, and succumbed to the idols that surrounded them. For the Israelites in the wilderness, Moses described the abundance awaiting the new generation who were preparing to enter the Promised Land. He also warned them about spiritual complacency.

Passivity would deplete God’s people in the same way it would an athlete. Hence, we see that Christian life calls for action. We are the Kingdom people, who are to live out the gospel by being salt and light as God’s representatives on earth.  Jesus desires that we put the Beatitudes into action and live in a way that influences the world.

Perhaps we need to be re-vitalised as a church, moving away from complacency and going back to being on fire for Jesus Christ. What a great opportunity we have when we move to Henderson! The need is certainly great, the harvest is definitely plentiful and the workers may be few for the gospel work. Nevertheless, praying for God’s workers acknowledges our utter reliance on Him for everything His work necessitates.

Let us ask ourselves how often, how eagerly, how expectantly, and for how long do we seek a deeper knowledge of Christ. Do we have greater earnestness in our prayer? Are we bolder in our witness? 

May we delight in God, growing in love as we walk alongside Him and pursuing Him each day. Let us be overcomers of the sin of complacency.

– Dns Malar Thomas