After yet another loss, the bewildered football coach for the Hull City Tigers said, “I don’t know if this is a mentality thing, but our accumulation of points against the lower-down teams is crazy. Whether it’s mentality or complacency, I don’t know.” The Tigers should have been winning games. Instead, they were losing to lower-ranked clubs, causing their coach to wonder if his players cared.
Complacency is an attitude that’s addressed in the Bible as well. During the reign of King Josiah, the prophet Zephaniah spoke to the people of Judah. They were idolatrous, worshiping both Baal and Molek (Zephaniah 1:4-6). Their idolatry was even violent and deceitful (Zephaniah 1:9), inciting God’s righteous anger (Zephaniah 1:14-16).
It’s interesting that complacency is listed alongside these seemingly worse sins (Zephaniah 1:12). Complacency isn’t something to be proud of, but is it truly as bad as worshiping another god?
Jesus revealed to the apostle John that complacency has no place within His church. In His letter to the church in Laodicea, Jesus said, “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” (Revelation 3:15-16).
It’s easy to become satisfied with the status quo. Skimping in our giving, avoiding sacrifice, and forgetting to pray can come naturally to comfortable Christians. But complacency is a bit of a slow death. As it quietly sets in, we grow numb to the sharp pains that usually drive us to God. It then robs us of the joy of His presence and renewal.
May we be “hot water” today, bubbling over in passionate worship of our great, loving God.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 6:1-15
Read the prophecy to Judah in Zephaniah 2:1-3. Notice the attributes God seeks in His disciples.
Where in your spiritual life have you become complacent? What can you do differently today to heat up the lukewarm areas?