mirror, mirror

“Be content,” they always say.
“My grace is enough,” Jesus says.
So, striving ceases.  Craving is ‘satisfied’, or is it?
Being happy takes over – doing whatever it is that just makes us happy.
And then self-sufficiency, smugness, and self-confidence sneaks in and takes over and leads to complacency.
We become comfortable and enter into a place of quiet pleasure and security.

“Complacency is a blight that saps energy, dulls attitudes, and causes a drain on the brain. The first symptom is satisfaction with things as they are. The second is rejection of things as they might be. ‘Good enough’ becomes today’s watchword and tomorrow’s standard. Complacency makes people fear the unknown, mistrust the untried, and abhor the new. Like water, complacent people follow the easiest course — downhill. They draw false strength from looking back.”Bits & Pieces, May 28, 1992, p. 15.

I don’t think that any of us want to/intend to be complacent.  To become satisfied with life as we know it.  To cease striving.  But, my friends, if we are honest with each other, with ourselves, and with God…aren’t we complacent?  How often do we disguise our complacency with the mask of being ‘content’, or ‘everything’s good’?  Especially within the walls of the church, being complacent is taboo.  It just isn’t allowed behavior for a fully devoted follower of Christ, is it?  How can we, if we say that we follow Christ, that we love Him, be complacent?  So, out of feelings of inadequacy, or not wanting to disappoint, the facade of ‘contentment’ is erected.  The wall becomes so much a part of who we are that we don’t even see ourselves for who we really are.  We sit in judgment of those who are obviously complacent and point fingers and comdemn, and yet we are just as guilty as they are.  We don’t look in the mirror.

Mirror, mirror on the wall…
Who is the most complacent of them all?

What would the answer be?
It would be our own reflection, wouldn’t it?

So, where does the solution begin?

To quote the infamous theologian…ahem…Michael Jackson:
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I‘m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer …
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change

From thinking that we’ve made it…it’s time for us to sit back and relax and let life just happen around us, that we have nothing to worry about or have anything to strive to gain, namely closeness with Jesus…to being overwhelmed and discouraged and depressed and throwing the towel in…that, my friends is complacency.  Certainly not contentment, or great faith.  Archbishop Chaput says “Complacency is the enemy of faith.”
The enemy of faith.
Let that sink in a moment…
“It (complacency) invades areas once occupied by our passion, interest, desire, and focus. When complacent, the valued things that had captivated our thoughts, hearts, and energies tend to fade from priority and can even become mundane or the boring routine of everyday life. Burnout in our work life, loss of fire in relationships, and the lack of zeal for things we once held important are common experiences. The shame is not in complacency but in the failure to recognize it and take corrective measures to regain our footing.”    – The Cure for Complacency

When we are complacent, Jesus fades.  The things of Jesus fade.  We move from contentment to laziness to complacency.
So, what is the cure?
Newness, freshness, aliveness.
Recognize complacency in our lives.  Don’t ignore it, try to disguise it, project on someone or something else, or allow it to fester and grow.
“Complacency grows out of a false security that creates a lukewarm faith.”
“I know your works.  You are neither cold with apathy nor hot with passion.  It would be better if you were the one of the other, but you are neither.  So because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” – Revelation 3:15-16 (the Voice)

Cultivate passion.  Allow the Son to shine brightly in the darkness.  Receive the Living Water and let Him cascade and drench the parched soil of your heart.  Feed your soul with the Bread of Life.  Be incubated in the Holy Spirit.

And then when we look in the mirror, and ask the question:
Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who’s in need of You, most of all?

Looking back at us will be, the Savior with nail-pierced hands outstretched, welcoming us, inviting us to Him.

 

grace.

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earlier bits

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