In dealing with people who have issues, I am reminded of the Scripture; “These people draw near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And, in vain they worship Me….” Matthew 15:8-9. There is a pretension that all is well with the Lord while lives are filled with the wages and consequences of sin. In their complacency they’ve lost or have suppressed the truth about the evil of sin. They call that which is evil good, and that which is good evil. And we find that many are no longer pricked in their conscience about the evil of sin when this occurs. You will see God’s people living in various lusts, sexual immorality and addictions without a conscience. Puritan preacher, Stephen Charnock, comments on this plight; “One never chooses evil because it is evil, but because he sees it to be good.” Is this not the end of complacency?
Just what is complacency? It is “unconcern, self-satisfaction accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.” either morally or mentally. Haven’t we all scratched our heads in disbelief over why our loved ones are living in contempt of God’s holy word. They have left a life of virtue to a loose primitive way of living. They are exemplifying unsophisticated behavior that is unaffected by objective reasoning. Addiction, lying, manipulation, seduction, irresponsibility, adultery, fornication, greed, etc., to note some of the unsophisticated behaviors. From the latter behavior becomes a flood of misery.
This quote from Flannery O’Connor’s letters caught my eye concerning the complacent soul; “It is the complacent heart, the soul unmoved by its own misery, it’s own lack of love, that renders the creature most resistant to grace.”
So, what is the answer to this pitiful state? First of all, we must understand this is a spiritual problem. The wisdom and well-meaning intent of the world can only band-aid the problem and the bleeding may never stop. Why? Because secular institutions lack the ministry of grace where the counsel, teaching and preaching of the Word of God is administered. As the Psalmist has written in Psalm 60:11 – 12; “Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.”
And, may I add; let us not water-down sin, the message to address sin, and the God who alone can remedy sin. Confessing of sin to a god we understand without the cross will not administer grace. Then, what will? “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” I Corinthians 1:18 God will bestow grace upon the captive and broken-hearted soul. “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and knowledge, even as the testimony in Christ was confirmed in you.” I Corinthians 1:4 – 6; Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth.
You may be wondering; is there hope for me or my loved one with a spirit of complacency? Certainly so! Return to the cross and repent of your complacency. Review where you began to slide away, get alone with God, make a list of the sins you committed in your waywardness, ask for forgiveness for each sin and repent, forsaking all those sins, and commit yourself to walk with God. Return to your local church and begin afresh with the assembly of the people of God. If the problem persists, we are always ready to help. We will minister the grace of God to you through counsel, teaching and preaching Christ Jesus “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” I Corinthians 2:4