Apathy, indifference, complacency – all words that we are familiar with, yet none of which we would like to think describes our lives. While it may not be true in secular things, what about the things of God? Isn’t it true, we can see it in others but not ourselves? Think about it! Let’s remove the facade and evaluate honestly, “Spiritually, have I become complacent?”
The issue is not new. Every age suffers from the same malady. That of course, is of no comfort. How many times have we heard of others, or even been guilty ourselves of missing meeting just because we were not “feeling well” or were “too tired”? We were not too sick or tired to miss a day’s wages, but going to the meeting is different. Why is it that believers voluntarily work overtime to get ahead, to buy “those extras” even though it results in being absent from remembering the Lord?
Don’t you think it strange that Christians plan vacations without first considering whether there is an assembly near? Isn’t it odd that we readily accept social engagements or business commitments, which necessitate missing the mid-week meeting? What is the reason? Spiritually, we have become complacent.
Although it’s a clich, it is worth considering: “If everyone in the assembly were just like I am, what kind of an assembly would it be?” Isn’t it true that most of us would be unemployed or have failed marriages if we exhibited the commitment to them that we have in spiritual matters?
Many believers are reliving history, having never learned from the past. What characterized the “remnant” (Haggai 1:12) that returned from Babylon to “build the house of the Lord” (Ezra 1:3)? It was devotion and commitment to the Lord. This relatively small company left comfortable circumstances, faced trials and difficulties, and at a great personal cost returned to Jerusalem and first “builded the altar of God” (Ezra 3:2) and then “offered burnt offering” (Ezra 3:3).
Great joy was evident once the foundation was laid for the temple (Ezra 3:11). However, it wasn’t long until op position, coupled with waning interest, caused the work to cease. For long years, the work of rebuilding was idle.
What happened? Self-interests took control of their lives. God’s house was in ruins (Haggai 1:4). Neglect of God’s house resulted in coldness, barrenness, scarceness, and emptiness in their lives. The problem? In New Testament language, “all seek their own, and not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” Complacency displaced commitment.
In Malachi’s day, the people were insensitive to their own condition. Anything, not the best, would do for God. They had the nerve to offer to God what they wouldn’t offer to, and knew wouldn’t be accepted by, the governor. The sad reality is that they didn’t see anything wrong in what they were doing. Constantly, when challenged by God regarding their actions and condition, they responded by saying, “Wherein?” (Malachi 1:2,7, 2:17, 3:18) or “What do you mean?” Indifference and apathy ruled their lives. Commitment was lacking.
The problem again is evidenced, only this time, it is in connection with the church of the Laodiceans (Rev. 3:14-22). Unaware of their true condition and living as though everything were just fine, their real state was exposed by divine scrutiny. “Lukewarm!” (v16). There were neither hot nor cold, but somewhere in between. How sad, they were deceived into thinking, “everything is just fine.”
“Lukewarm!” Doesn’t that really say it all? Not being out and out for God but just involved enough to soothe the conscience. Going through the motions is something with which most of us can relate. Is it reasonable, in today’s society, to expect a believer to be committed? The answer is yes. Commitment should be a byproduct of our salvation. It is really one of the results of it.
Often, the late Mr. Herb Harris encouraged believers to “pull out all the stops”, and “give it all you’ve got.” Half-heartedness was not in his thinking.
It hits close to home, but are we prepared to change or are we comfortable with the way things are going? Viewing the Lord Jesus, we see the ultimate example of true, unreserved commitment. Complacency had no part in His life.
Paul, from a heart full of appreciation, says, “He gave Himself for me.” We rejoice in the truth but do we let the truth have an impact on our life? Since He gave all, nothing less should be expected from us than complete commitment to Him. Commitment and devotion to the Lord will ensure right priorities and choices in life. How would you describe yourself or better still how would the Lord evaluate your life? Are you committed or complacent?