Articles complacency

Published on February 21st, 2009 | by Alex and Brett Harris

A Lukewarm Attitude of Complacency

This is part 4 of 5 in the series Not Too Young to Die

The fourth installment of our Not Too Young to Die series has been a long-time in coming, but I’m happy to announce that we are now back on track. If you haven’t read the first three installments, use the links at the bottom of this post to catch up.

In our last installment, Your Life Story, we discussed three marks of a tragically wasted life. Today’s post looks at the first: a lukewarm attitude of complacency. Here is one of the best descriptions of complacency that I’ve come across:

“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.”

For Christians this often reveals itself when we become satisfied avoiding evil, but not pursuing good. Psalm 1 tells us that “blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, no stands in the way of sinners, no sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on His law he meditates day and night.”

Charles Spurgeon comments, “Perhaps some of you can claim a sort of negative purity, because you do not walk in the way of the ungodly; but let me ask you — is your delight in the law of God? Do you study God’s Word? Do you make it the man of your right hand, your best companion and hourly guide? If not, the blessing of Psalm 1 does not belong to you.”

This is important, because we’re often tempted to sign-up for a less “extreme” version of the Christian life. Instead of the Platinum “Jim Elliot” Membership, we like the sound of the Bronze “Joe Christian” Membership. Less benefits, but less effort. Sounds good, right? But Scripture doesn’t leave that option open to us.

Writes C.S. Lewis: “It is hard; but the sort of compromise we’re hankering after is harder — in fact, it is impossible. We are like eggs at present. And we cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”

In other words, we can’t just go on being ordinary, decent Christians, giving God part of our lives while holding back the rest. Either we are hatched and learn to fly or we are a dud that will soon start to stink.

The first mark of a tragically wasted life is complacency.

Some questions for discussion:

  • Read the description of complacency above. What “symptoms” of complacency do you see in your own life?
  • Are you known for what you don’t do, or for what you do? Why do you think it’s easier to just avoid evil than to pursue righteousness? [Note: Tasha has posted an excellent response to this question. Check it out!]
  • In the words of C.S. Lewis, are you trying to just be an ordinary, decent egg? What would it take for you to “hatch and learn to fly?”
  • Katie’s “Bonus” Question from the Comment Section: What is the difference between contentment and complacency?


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About the Author

are the co-founders of TheRebelution.com and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.



  • http://dohardthingsfanblog.wordpress.com Julia

    Alex and Brett – THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS YOU DNO’T KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE THESE! :)
    Thanks again. :)

  • http://dohardthingsfanblog.wordpress.com Julia

    Oops, I mean “don’t”. :-o :)

  • Erika

    Thanks for writing this, it’s so true. I know so many people at my school who have a lukewarm attitude of complacency. Really, my school is the poster school for those who don’t do hard things. They all want the easiest classes, the least responsibility, and they don’t want any consequence for their actions.

    It’s been a real struggle fighting against going with the majority, and I was getting dangerously close to giving in, but I got your book a week ago and it’s given me hope that I can rise above all of them and do hard things! Maybe I can even spread the rebelution all over my school! I’m a senior, so that doesn’t give me much time to spread it, but we have a big God who can do anything so we’ll see what happens there.

    Thank you so much for doing what you’re doing! God Bless!

  • http://www.therebelution.com Brett Harris

    Julia: You’re very welcome! Thanks for commenting. :) Do you have any thoughts in response to the discussion questions I posted? I’d love to hear what you think. :)

  • http://www.therebelution.com Brett Harris

    Erika: Thanks for sharing. I’m sorry (but not really surprised) to hear about the attitude of most of your peers at school. But I’m also excited to see what God might do through you. God bless you, sis! :D

  • http://www.rebelutionaries.blogspot.com Katie Nelson

    This is good, but…

    Where does contentment end and complacency begin? In the past I have made myself unhappy by not being satisfied with what I had. I wanted more friends, more money, more intelligence. I wanted to “be grown up”. So although “the first symptom is satisfaction with things as they are” isn’t there a balance between being satisfied but yet embracing “things as they might be”?

  • Catherine Hayes

    1. Some of the symptoms of complacency in my life are laziness and just not wanting to do anything. Also, being fine with my life and kind of wanting to do something, but not wanting to expend the effort it would take to do it.

    2. I think it’s easier to simply avoid evil but not puruse righteousness because our sin nature kicks in and we think, “Well, we’re commanded not to do wrong, and I’m not doing wrong, so I must be fine.” We ignore the second part of the command, once again because of our sin nature, as well as our failure to ask God for help, even though we know He will help us if we ask. In regard to the first part of the question, I hope I’m known for what I do, but I’m afraid I’m known more for what I don’t do.

    3. Now that I think about it, I guess I am trying to be an “ordinary, decent egg.” To hatch and fly, I need motivation and God’s help. I know I can get both if I ask Him.

    Those are my opinions and experiences. Thank you so much for posting. Your writing is very convicting and is showing me areas in my life in which I need to improve. Lately, your posts about the way we live have been just what I need to hear. God has perfect timing.

  • Tabitha

    I definitely have some symptoms of complacency in my life.
    Being homeschooled it is easy to compare yourself to everyone else, you guys can probably relate.
    Since I read your book about two months ago I’ve really tried to go the extra mile, to “go beyond what is expected or required.” I am a different person from two months ago and the Lord continues to work in my life through you and your book! I think I am starting to hatch and learn how to fly!
    Praise the Lord for His awesome mercy!

  • Austin

    Awesome job guys! I’m glad you started this back up again! I agree with Katie though, there does have to be a balance between just taking things as they are and unrealistically wanting things as they might be. What are some ways that we can make sure we don’t fall into either of those categories?
    Thanks so much!!!

  • http://mostwelcomecross.blogspot.com/ Jordan

    Great article! Amazing timing! This is something the Lord has been dealing with me on.

    “For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them.” (Pro. 1:32, ESV)

    Glad you guys started this series back up.

  • Pingback: Complacency: the mark of a tragically wasted life | The Daily Scroll

  • Emily A.

    1. Read the description of complacency above. What “symptoms” of complacency do you see in your own life?
    mostly settling with being “good enough” for instance, at swim meets i see girls (and guys) dressed rather immodestly and think “wow i am much more modest then them” but not really think about maybe sharing my values about modesty with my friends.
    2. Are you known for what you don’t do, or for what you do? Why do you think it’s easier to just avoid evil than to pursue righteousness?
    I’m really not sure. i would hope to be known for what i am, rather then what i am not, but i can’t really be sure sadly.
    I think its easier to avoid evil than to pursue righteousness because we are drawn to sin naturally, but as Christians we know we should not pursue that, and we settle with that as enough. we don’t take the extra step and follow after righteousness
    3. In the words of C.S. Lewis, are you trying to just be an ordinary, decent egg? What would it take for you to “hatch and learn to fly?”
    I think for a lot of us its hard enough just to be a decent egg, much less learn to fly. but i really do want to go beyond what is expected and follow Jesus to new heights.

    thanks for these posts guys, they are really amazing!

  • Jennifer

    Thanks for this post… I am also homeschooled, so I can relate to what Tabitha said. It’s really easy to just do what comes naturally (from the way I’ve been raised,) because what’s easy for me is already beyond expectations of most of the adults around me. But this post has challenged me to do beyond what is easy for me, and really step out of my comfort zone, so that I can “hatch and fly”. Thanks!

  • http://none Emily

    I noted to myself when I was 15 (six years ago), “Christians tend to ride on the coat-tails of either their past or their future. You’re either a procrastinator or a has-been (more like would-have-been.)”

    I had good advice, but like Alice in Wonderland, “I very seldom followed it.”

    Thanks for your book, changed my life.

  • http://www.life-set-apart.blogspot.com Courtney

    1. Read the description of complacency above. What “symptoms” of complacency do you see in your own life?

    Recently, I’ve noticed smptoms of complacency in my relationship with my younger sister. Eg: We don’t argue much, that’s good enough.

    2. Are you known for what you don’t do, or for what you do? Why do you think it’s easier to just avoid evil than to pursue righteousness?

    I love this one. In today’s world it is so easy to gain reputation for what you don’t do. I don’t have to try very hard with that one. It’s easier to avoid evil because that’s all you have to do: avoid it. To pursue righteousness takes more effort and dedication in our relationship with the Lord. Not to say that avoiding evil can’t be hard, but going on and pursuing righteousness is harder.

    3. In the words of C.S. Lewis, are you trying to just be an ordinary, decent egg? What would it take for you to “hatch and learn to fly?”

    I don’t want to be that ordinary, decent egg. To “hatch and learn to fly”… hmm, that’s a hard one. You’ve got me thinking.

    God Bless!
    Courtney

  • Hannah S.V.

    First, let me thank you, Brett and Alex, for creating this website and writing your book! Both the book and the blog have been incredibly encouraging in my walk with the Lord; I often feel that I am the only person at my school or even my youth group concerned about making every moment count for the glory of Christ so the live He has given me will be well spent.

    Now, as for the questions you posted…
    Complacency sets in at its greatest strength when I am emotionally, mentally, and phyiscally exhausted. This is also the condition in which I am most likely to be irritable and selfish. Homework seems awfully unimportant when it’s past 10pm and I know I have to get up at 6. When I arrive home from school at 3 after a long, stressful day, cleaning my room just isn’t appealing. I tend to not care about whether my life is wasted when I go through the daily grind (which doesn’t have to be unpleasant) of chores, school, and other activities.

    I am becoming known for what I do (e.g. I am the “Bible expert” in my english class at public school for when we study passages that include biblical allusions) although I think of myself in terms of what I haven’t done. This is an area in which I have much room to improve and develop. Avoiding evil is by no means easy, but for someone firm in his faith who does not struggle with sins such as drugs or alcohol, complacency is an effective but unreconized trap. It is easy to stay in our Christian comfort zones because dying to ourselves in order to accomplish something rather than focusing on feeling good about our relationship with God seems too difficult. Calmly stepping around a problem is easier than exerting oneself and running toward a treasure, even when the treasure is of great value.

    My greatest desire is to “hatch and learn to fly”, to know God more deeply and tell of His glory in everything so His kingdom will continue to spread. Praying, reading the Word, and being encouraged by other believers (have I mentioned that this blog is very helpful in this area?!!) spur me on and motivate me to focus on and live in light of the promised reward. The Holy Spirit continues to work in me so that, slowly but surely, I am beginning to hatch. :)

  • http://starbrightsite.com Sharon

    You mentioned Charles Spurgeon’s comment, and in it, he asked, “Do you study God’s Word?” Lately, I’ve been wondering what stdying God’s Word really means. What would you say it is?

  • http://rayshopejourney.blogspot.com/ Rachel M.

    * Read the description of complacency above. What “symptoms” of complacency do you see in your own life?
    I would say being comfortable with knowing that, “Hey, nothing difficult or stressful is happening right now in my life so I will just take it easy.” But I should not be like that, because that is when the enemy sneaks in and attacks my weakest points. Moreover, school is easy right now. That is good. No! I should use that time to study God’s Word and keep talking with Him.

    * Are you known for what you don’t do, or for what you do? Why do you think it’s easier to just avoid evil than to pursue righteousness?
    Great question. I agree with Courtney in that it is easier to avoid evil, because all you do is just avoiding it. However, what happens, though, when we just put those bad things to the side and think it is not all that bad. But it is! Because it will get bigger in the end. That is when you start preparing for the battle, so to speak, and put your armor of God on.

    * In the words of C.S. Lewis, are you trying to just be an ordinary, decent egg? What would it take for you to “hatch and learn to fly?”
    Another great, thinking question. Sadly, I am just taking it easy and glad it is going well, which isn’t a bad thing when you are thankful everything is going well, but when the trials and tribulations come, that is when you start seeing who you really act like. I do want to be an egg that hatches and flies with the grace of God and keeping my focus on Him.

    * Katie’s “Bonus” Question from the Comment Section: What is the difference between contentment and complacency?
    Isn’t contentment being thankful for God has given you? And complacency just taking it easy and thankful nothing bad is happening at the moment? I am not sure. Great question, Katie.

    Thank you for this post. Great thinking one. :)

    In Him Alone,
    Rachel M.

  • http://www.hannahsblog.jesusredeemed.us Hannah Michelle

    Thanks for starting up this series again…I continue to find it convicting. The discussion questions really make me apply the thought instead of getting off easy with a “Yeah that’s great, I shouldn’t be like that so much”. :P (I journaled my answers instead of writing them out here.) For me, to move through complacency and approach life with a “hatch and fly” mentality depends on my relationship with Jesus. It’s the only thing that can keep me aware and caring about how my life is being spent.

  • http://www.hayleyspen.blogspot.com Hayley Pennington

    It’s strange that I could replace the word complacency in the first sentence of the description with depression, which has been in my life before. It hasn’t been much in my life these past few months (yay).

    As to your second question, it’s easier to avoid evil than to pursue righteousness because that is what our society expects: it expects people to cause no noise — no bad noise and no good noise. It’s acceptable to be “good” but not to cause any kind of reaction from others. Like, “Your Chirstianity is all good for you as long as it doesn’t affect me.” Also, peer pressure. It’s acceptable in the American society to be a Christian, but if you do anything weird that is not acceptable. Take me for example — I wear hats because of 1 Cor. 11:5-16. Now if I just had a notion to wear hats for no reason, it would be acceptable, but because I do it for God, it’s controversial. This is not a very good example, but it’s the only one I can think of.

  • Amanda Howell

    I won’t post my anwers here since I will have to spend some time contemplating over the questions… maybe later. However, this is a really good post and one that strikes home. Definitely something I need to work on.
    The egg example is a good one. I’m not exactly sure where I fall though. I almost want to say that I’ve hatched, but don’t want to fly. As if I’m waiting for someone to give me a nudge out of the nest. (Hope this makes sense.)
    Thanks, Alex and Brett for another great article. God Bless!
    A sister in Christ…

    p.s.
    I had a quick question concerning something off the mini-blog. What does NYMC stand for?

  • http://www.therebelution.com Brett Harris

    Amanda: NYMC stands for the National Youth Ministry Conference. Alex and I are going to be speaking there. =)

  • Tasha Striker

    Hey fellow Rebelutionarys!

    I was reading John Piper’s blog the other day on his Desiring God website. The entry was called Knowing the Nature of your Evil and what it says goes really well with the second question Brett listed. I’m not going to unpack everything he said, I recommend you read the blog if you want to get the details.

    Here is the gist: It’s easy to get into a mindset of commandment-keeping. Going about life with the goal of avoiding sin. This is a problem because we can get caught up with the technicality of not sinning and still harbor unchanged, hard hard hearts that are not focused on Jesus. In his blog Piper says, the essence of our evil is not law-breaking but rather preferring anything to God,

    “But if we know that the essence of our evil is not commandment-breaking, but preferring anything to God, then our focus for change will be a change of heart.”

    What Piper is saying really shaped up my perspective on sin. Pursuing righteousness isn’t about meticulously maneuvering around sin. It’s living and striving to let nothing in our lives be more valuable, sought-after, or important than Jesus. This mindset will, as Piper said, truly change our hearts.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  • Jordan ELizabeth

    Thanks guys, this one really hit home with me.

    *Read the description of complacency above. What “symptoms” of complacency do you see in your own life?

    Personally, I can see where the ‘lukewarm attitude of complacency’ comes into my schoolwork and chores. Being homeschooled, and, in my case, mostly my own teacher, it takes a lot of effort to ‘force’ myself to do things, and not just to do them but to the best of my ability. (Oh, I guess that is ‘enough’ math for today… I’ll just sweep this floor later, maybe… I’ll catch up on bible reading tomorrow…)

    I’ll have to think about those other questions some more. Definitely thought provoking. Thanks again!

  • Ryan Quintos

    Dear everyone :]

    In the words of C.S. Lewis, are you trying to just be an ordinary, decent egg?

    Hey guys I just wanted to say “Go!” Don’t let your peers hold you back from becoming the person God is calling you to be. It might be hard letting go of a few bad eggs to become more than a decent egg yourself, but once you finally hatch, and are set free from complacency, and self satisfaction, you will find that getting out, and GOING, and DOING, will be the best thing you could have done.

    what are you doing for God? he wants you all to grow mentally, socially, physically and most important spiritually. No just a mediocre lifestyle, but a radical one for him. God never settled with the good for us, or the better for us, but He always wanted the best for us. We can have the best if we obey, and trust him completely. Whole heartedly, and not half baked. or in this case…half cracked.

    here is a quote that i added my two cents into at the bottom…

    “A man’s work is in danger of deteriorating when he thinks he has found the one best formula for doing it. If he thinks that, he is likely to feel that all he needs is merely to go on repeating himself . . . so long as a person is searching for better ways of doing his work, he is fairly safe.” EUGENE O’NEILL

    God wants us to be smart, and he is protecting us every step of the way. Reading God’s word has opened my eyes and heart to seeing the ways people have lived through God’s will. The Will of God is never going to be safe or easy, and most of the time it makes us want to think through the things he’s asking us to do. sometimes it seems so easy, but we just don’t make time for him, and other times we don’t believe enough in ourselves to even think we can do something spectacular for God by God. BUT have we forgotten? I mean, I know it’s so easy to lose hope in a low expectant world, but really… the bible is full of lowly people, who have done tremendous things for HIM! what about the story of David and goliath…or Gideon, and his army! what about esther,and abraham! God is all powerful. oh yes, what about Joshua and the battle of Jericho? see, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. HE is protecting us. Now i am not saying go out and do stupid things, and make yourself available to getting hurt. What I am saying is that we are constantly in a spirtual battle against satan and his demons. God is, and always will protect his children. He is doing the dangerous for us, and it’s not easy, but he loves us undcontionally. He will do anything to protect us, and make sure we are safe. We have to risk doing hard things for the Lord by submitting to God’s will no matter where or when he has us. Whether we’re at home…at school…church, or maybe your in another country serving. YOU CAN BE ANYWHERE AND SERVING! :) where ever he calls you, never hang up the phone. he has an important message for you. it’s easy to hang up the phone or take a message, but this time maybe you should answer the line. you will find that this call was urgent, and the most important call of you life. :)

    he never said it would be easy, but he did promise you will never be alone.

    Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” hebrews 13:5-6

    Love you all,
    Ryan Lyn.

  • http://www.myspace.com/vonne83 Baiana

    @Tasha: I read Piper’s blog the other day as well. It gave me a great perspective about sin and heart change and I was able to share a bit of it with a non-believing co-worker who’s been asking me questions about my faith. She wants her life to be different, but doesn’t know how to go about it. But we all know WHO creates the change we need (and, while I did vote for him, it ain’t Obama I’m referring to. :o )

    In response to the question about the difference between complacency and contentment– I’d say that contentment is a mark of maturity, while complacency is not. Our contentment should not be adversely effected by our circumstances; contentment is given by Christ. Philippians 4 talks about it starting in verse 11: “For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I’d say that’s the main difference between contentment and complacency — in contentment, there is still forward movement and a sense that -no matter what- we are taken care of, while complacency is stagnant.

  • Ryan Quintos

    ps. When I say God wants the best for us, I can truly say that putting your trust in God, and fully relying on him with all areas in our lives…we truly can say, we have the best. We don’t need anything else in this world. so yes, God doesn’t settle for anything but the best, thats why him being the uncreated one in this universe..he ultimately is….the best.
    Faith is a beautiful thing, and trust, well. they go hand in hand.

    and when i say God wants us to be smart. I can say that God is good, and he has never once created anyone “dumb” I don’t even think God has anything to do with the word dumb. it’s a lie, that our enemy wants us to believe. Don’t cave into these lies. Live above it, and live for the one who can give you wisdom, and discernment of truth, and knowledge. Be smart for him, and know that he is good all the time.

  • Ryan Quintos

    wisdom of knowing truth & discerment between whats right and whats wrong. **
    it’s so easy to typo. sorry ya’ll! I blame myself!

  • Ryan Quintos

    discernment *
    WOW…..someone stop me. haha :D oh boy.

  • http://www.therebelution.com Brett Harris

    Ryan: Haha, we’ve all done it before. Don’t worry about it. :D

  • Andrew

    This one’s for Katie,

    I think the “bad” kind of contentment that accompanies complacency is of a different context than being contently satisfied with “what you have” i.e. the season of life you are in, your unique God-given person, your resources. This kind of contentment is in a different ball park than being lazily content with our accomplishments- not pursuing growth and maturity. I think someone suggested above to possibly substitute the word “thankfulness” for your description of satisfied contentedness. This is a good way to look at it. We can and should be content/satisfied/thankful for what God has given us. Even ironically, as the apostle Paul demonstrated, when all but Jesus is stripped away.
    I hope this helps.

    p.s. Alex and Brett, thank you so much for your ministry. I cannot put to words the impact that your godly example has had on my life. Your message is contagious and the energy and passion you put into your projects is greatly inspiring. Thanks for pointing our generation to Jesus.

  • http://www.life-set-apart.blogspot.com Courtney

    “Lately, I’ve been wondering what studying God’s Word really means. What would you say it is? ”

    Sharron: Maybe I can help you here. The Bible is God’s word and He wishes to communicate with you through it. We study God’s word because God’s word is the most direct way to get to know about him Studying God’s Word means reading it, learning it, and applying it to your life.

    I hope that helps a little. :)

    Courtney

  • Danielle

    Great post! It really made me think. (Good thing) =D

    What is the difference between contentment and complacency?

    I think the word contentment is misrepresented in our society. Contentment seems to be being happy with things despite circumstances. For example, someone could be content with trying something hard even when their circumstances encourage them to be complacent. Contentment seems to be more of a “verb” whereas complacency is something we easily do.

    Thanks guys for everything you do!

  • Amanda Howell

    Jordon Elizabeth, I know exactly where you’re coming from! I deal with the same thing. But how do we go about improving ourselves?

  • http://lereticentdragon.blogspot.com Ophelia

    At a speech tournament two days ago, I was competing in the event of impromptu, and I actually drew the word complacency. During my speech I mention the rebelution!

  • http://armsofloveblog.blogspot.com Tori Tj

    I’ve been holding back for so long, and I’m afraid to move foward. You guys have already helped me so much in my walk with God, and I know now that I need to give Him everything, which I’m afraid to do. While I like where I’m at, I also want desperately to move foward and know God more. It’s intimidating to move foward because it’s hard. Anyone can resist temptation if they ask God for help, but it’s when doing hard things comes into play that we shirk from our responsibilites- what we know we have to do.

  • Noella

    Great thoughts and discussion guys. It’s quite easy to become complacent with the way things are and not desire more from God and and His Word. I find myself happy doing little yet really wanting to do more.

    Then, when I DO do more in the way of serving God and others and living a truly sold-out life, I find myself shaking my head and wondering what’s so great about that cozy old rut of complacency anyway. And I find true, godly, and joyous contentment in the knowledge that I’m doing all I can for the Kingdom.

    And the great thing about Kingdom work is that it’s never finished. There’s always one more mountain to climb, on more wall to scale, one more heart to lead to Jesus.
    Complacency is constantly a temptation, yet the joy of contentment from serving the Lord is always there too, reminding me of the better way.

    So, as the line in a poem I wrote awhile ago reads, “In the Hard Way, I’ll stay!”

    Praise our Mighty Redeemer!

    Trusting Him,

    Noella

  • Ryan Quintos

    brett: it’s nice to know I’m not the only one :P
    Thank you.
    I know you like to hear all our opinions, but what are your personal thoughts on contentment, and complacency in your own life. I’ll share my thoughts if you share yours! e can start a train. One that is not complacent, but in forward motion! haha :D

    Always and forever your sis in Jesus,
    ry

    by the way ya’ll have a beautiful sunday! Praise God! he is so good

  • Ryan Quintos

    Tori TJ: Thank you for your open, honest, and vulnerable heart. Thank you.
    You’re not alone, and as many times as we all would like to get up on our high horses, and say we’re fine where we are in our walks with Christ….that also is complacency because we all can ans should do more no matter where we are in our walk with Him.

    For a very long time I had wondered why I felt I was going absolutely no where in my life. I was reading God’s word on and off, and had no idea what to do. my prayer life me begging God for a life. There was my answer.
    I needed to pray. not just once a day, but through out the entire day.
    I needed to read, I needed to apply myself.
    Without God we’re merely lost vessels waiting to be used, but not knowing what to do because we’re not looking in the right direction. it’s like we have a veil over our eyes, and we can’t move forward unless we’re broguht into the complete light of knowing what we truly live for. We need to know our God, Not just know about him. It’s personal…

    as a girl, i can say I long for so much when it comes to my future husband. I pray for him, I think about him all day, I write to him, i think about how I can better myself for him, and I even laugh about him already because i know he’ll be the best person ever to me.
    How much more should I put my relationship with God before my own husband. ( ALL the time!)
    so this means, since God is already with me every hour of the day, how much more should I be acknowledging the lover of my soul, before the lover of my heart. They are both beyond wonderful, but my soul is everlasting, and it needs to be fed each and everyday the same way I would like my heart to be healthy and good for my husband every single day.

    TJ, even on the not so good days, remember that you are loved by the creator of the universe. no one can love you more than he can, and will. When you find yourself stagnent, and stuck for a little while tell that stuborn heart ( that I have ever now and then myself) to yeild, to take a breath, and praise God for everything he has given you.
    ask him for help, and ask him to soften your heart. A good way that i like to soften my heart for the Lord is by sitting my stubborn self down when I feel restless, and singing to him.
    He knows your heart. He knows everything about you ( and that can be scary)…but Heloves you just the way you are. But he loves you so much that he doesn’t want to keep you where you are. he wants you to be just like Jesus.

  • Ryan Quintos

    by the way. guess I can say that as my prayer life with God has become more and more, he has opened doors for me! So don’t lose hope. but rather look up to hope himself, and give him thanks for already giving you a bright, purposeful future with him!

    and praise God that he is all you need!

  • Ryan Quintos

    and i just want to add this because God is so good to us! ( WOOT WOOT!)
    haha, Im almost 20…and im still a little kid at heart. :)

  • http://www.silversunshine.etsy.com/ Hannah Y.

    Not too young to die… Wow, what great timing. There’s a boy I know–he’s a high-school junior–who suddenly went into a coma over the weekend and has been on life-support ever since. He’s actually not expected to live much longer, although the doctors are doing all they can. His father left his family a few years ago, so he has been serving as father to his little sister and a confidant to his mother. I can’t help but think that he is too young to die, though I know he’s not. It’s easy to say “Nobody’s too young to die” when you haven’t actually seen it play out in front of your eyes with one of your brother’s friends. It is true, though, that nobody is too young to die. It’s just shocking when you witness the mortality of it, and it really makes me want to do more with my life.

  • Ryan Quintos

    Hannah, I will be praying for him. I will also be praying for you, and the families & friends.
    God’s Will is perfect, and I am so grateful for your positive attitude through this hard, cofusing time. remember God knows exactly what he is doing, and although we don’t know what it is, we can say and know in our heart, and mind that it is good for him.

  • http://www.life-set-apart.blogspot.com Courtney

    :( I’ll be praying for that family, Hannah (and you too!).

  • Amanda Howell

    Thanks for the explanation, Brett. I hope it goes smoothly for the both of you. :-) God Bless!

  • Emily M.

    Thank you for starting this series again. This is something that has been on my heart a great deal lately. God bless you for what you do, and may He give you the strength to continue!
    I’ve often felt content to be a “decent little egg.” Or as I have thought of it, I’ve been like an electron which keeps going in a constant buzz of activity. Even with the constant motion it still resides in the lowest energy state possible, even though it is capable of much more.
    I become complacent whenever I start to think “I do more than anyone else I know” instead of “How much am I doing compared to what God has called me to do and has given me the ability to do?”

    Hannah, your friend and his family are in my prayers as well. This is such a hard thing, I wish I could give you a certain chapter out of Edith Schaeffer’s book “Affliction.” If you ever get a chance to read it, you will understand what I mean when I pray that your friend and his family will win the greatest possible victory for the Lord.

  • http://jeubfamily.com Cynthia Jeub

    You guys are absolutely right. We definitely need to EMBRACE the relationship that God has to offer us, not merely avoiding sin. The Rebelution is all about pressing forward and making progress for the Kingdom, and we can’t possibly do that if we give in to Complacency.

    Thanks for the great post!

  • Grace DeBusschere

    From Ophelia’s comment… I too, drew the word “Complacent” in an Impromptu round!

  • http://www.exodus17.weebly.com Stephanie

    Thank you for sharing this wisdom!
    I was wondering when this was coming! I read the other blog before this and was hit very hard when I read the marks of a tragically wasted life. It sounded way too much like me and that is something I’m not ready to accept. I want have all that marks a gloriously spent life.

    Symptoms of complacency in my life:
    My energy has been sapped. (I don’t really think that I’m satisfied with the way things are. Personally, “good enough” has never been good enough.) BUT I lack the determination to do something about it. It’s (as my dad would say) “a vicious cycle.” I won’t accept “good enough.” I look back on what I could’ve done better and I beat myself up for it.
    I don’t think this is healthy. It only gets me depressed and in a habit of self-condemnation. Which then provides no motivation for forward motion.
    Maybe I’m not the only one who feels this way?

    God is still working on my heart. In Him, I lack no good thing. In His eyes, I am priceless.
    I pray that God will open my eyes and the eyes of everyone like me to see that our value is not in what we do, but in what Christ did. Romans 8:1 There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
    The point, as I see it, is not to judge our value (for that is secure in Christ and cannot be changed by our action or lack of). We need not worry about that. Instead, we should judge our actions apart from our worth.

    Phillippians 3:12-13 (NLT)
    12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

  • Amanda Howell

    Stephanie,
    I have felt like you do as well. Maybe not to the same extent as you and not as much recently, but I still feel that way from time to time. So you are not alone in this.
    May God work on both our hearts and give us the strength to fight complacency and rise victorious. God bless.
    A sister in Christ…

  • http://www.exodus17.weebly.com Stephanie

    Thank you Amanda
    :)

  • brian

    Ya thanks these were realy kinda cool;-b

  • Kristen

    What do you think are the differences between Complacency and Depression?

    I had mild depression acouple of years ago and the descriptions are much alike.

  • http://www.silversunshine.etsy.com Hannah Y.

    Hannah Y. Says:
    February 22nd, 2009 at 2:47 pm
    Not too young to die… Wow, what great timing. There’s a boy I know–he’s a high-school junior–who suddenly went into a coma over the weekend and has been on life-support ever since. He’s actually not expected to live much longer, although the doctors are doing all they can. His father left his family a few years ago, so he has been serving as father to his little sister and a confidant to his mother. I can’t help but think that he is too young to die, though I know he’s not. It’s easy to say “Nobody’s too young to die” when you haven’t actually seen it play out in front of your eyes with one of your brother’s friends. It is true, though, that nobody is too young to die. It’s just shocking when you witness the mortality of it, and it really makes me want to do more with my life.
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Zac Weiland passed away yesterday at 6:00pm. Thank you all for praying–it means a lot. Please continue to pray for his family.

  • Sarah Beth

    I looked up “complacency” in the 1828 “Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language.” There were three definitions.

    1.Pleasure; satisfaction; gratification. It is more than approbation, and less than
    delight or joy.

    2. The cause of pleasure or joy.
    3. Complaisance; civility; softness of manners; deportment and address that afford
    pleasure.

    These definitions seem quite contradictory to your definitions. Can someone please explain. I’m quite confused.

  • Darrell

    Once again you have pulled off a good post. I have enjoyed reading these and have been challenged by doing so. Keep up the good work God will reward you for it !!!

  • http://www.life-set-apart.blogspot.com Courtney

    Sara Beth-
    I think the first definition fits the best. Complacency is the satisfaction that things are fine the way they are. A sort of average, it’s “good enough” attitude. For example, complacency shows up often in my relationship with my sister. I think, “As long we’re not arguing, we’re fine, nothing needs to change.” Instead, I could be thinking, “My sister is a really great person! I want to get to know her a little better and become better friends.” (I’m working on that) If we’re satisfied with the way things are, then we don’t want to try and change things; this often causes a fear of the unknown. If we are fine with just passing in school, then we don’t want to put in the work to try and make a better grade; we reject how things could be.

    I hope this helps a little.
    Blessings,
    Courtney

  • http://shepherdaftergodsheart.blogspot.com/ Felicity

    It’s good to see you finishing off this topic. :wink:

    While I don’t have any trouble with not settling for less, the message I am getting from the world, friends, and sometimes even my family is that I should be content with where I am at…

    I am content and I trust that God will take care of me regardless of what I face*, however I am not content to stay the same person and stay where I am today. Is that wrong?

    How should I face head-on these low expectations?

    As closing thoughts from me:

    “Let us not grow weary doing well…”

    And

    “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:13)

    Blessings

    Felicity

    *Even though I haven’t always trusted Him and sometimes it is hard to trust Him, when I can’t see what He is doing. – I should add: Thanks to everyone here who has encouraged me not to give up, and to trust God even when I can’t see what He is doing.

  • http://shepherdaftergodsheart.blogspot.com/ Felicity

    I found the other scripture reference:

    And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (Galatians 6:9)

    Similar to it is this one:

    But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. (2 Thessalonians 3:12-14)

  • Allie Dahl

    The difference between complacency and contentment as I see it is complacency is feeling fine about how you live your life and feeling no urge for change, while contentment is being satisfied with what you have. And ultimately complacency is not maintaining the status quo, it is little by little allowing yourself to be swept backwards instead of pressing forward. Think of the egg quote, it’s a pretty good example.

  • Sarah Beth

    Courtney,
    Thanks so much. That clears things up fairly well. Great example also. I could work on that same thing.

    Thanks.
    In Christ,
    Sarah

  • Bekah

    Hannah Y: are the Weiland’s Christians? I am praying for their family.

  • Anonymous

    * Read the description of complacency above. What “symptoms” of complacency do you see in your own life?

    If I’m honest, I see some lack of direction, laziness and irresponsibility. (This is uplifting! LOL)

    * Are you known for what you don’t do, or for what you do? Why do you think it’s easier to just avoid evil than to pursue righteousness?

    Yes, this is an issue for me. I frequently think it’s enough to just sit idly by, “do no harm” but at the same time not influence anything for the better. I’m trying to change that in my own life.

    * In the words of C.S. Lewis, are you trying to just be an ordinary, decent egg? What would it take for you to “hatch and learn to fly?”

    I think I kind of answered this in the prior question, but it is worth repeating: It is not enough to do no harm. There is a world of need out there!

    * Katie’s “Bonus” Question from the Comment Section: What is the difference between contentment and complacency?

    I think I’ll go with the textbook definitions: (Thanks Dictionary.com)
    ___________

    Contentment: the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind.
    Complacency: a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.
    ___________

    How interesting. What we see here is contentment to a negative tune. Complacency occurs when we become almost prideful and narcissistic in ourselves; in other words we take our supposed contentment too far. We aren’t just content with our lives, we take it to the point where we are “smug” in our respective life situations. We are cosy. We see no need for improvement or change on our parts. Basically, we’re just fine. It’s everybody else who has issues.

  • Kara

    I’m still thinking about my answers to the first questions, but Katie’s bonus question struck a chord with me. It is difficult to see the difference between complacency and contentment. It made me think of Paul, who is a wonderful example of contentment. He wasn’t complacent, always working to tell others and always very aware of his own shortcomings, while working to fix them. However, he was content with what God gave him and the things that he obviously could not change. I do think there are a few things we should never really be complacent about:
    1. Our relationship with God. We can always know Him better.
    2. Our relationships with others. As our relationship with God grows, our godly attitude toward others should always be growing.
    3. Our outreach toward the lost around us. There is always someone else who is lost and needs the Gospel.

    Those are the first ones I thought of. I’m sure there are more, so if there is something you think of, please, post it!

    Great article, guys! The Rebelution has made a difference and my life and I’m so glad for what you are doing!

  • Lissie Luvs 2 Pray

    Wow thoese are some really good pionts
    I see allot of these things in my life in the shape of living in my comfort zone after I read your book I asked God to show me ways I could get out of the Comfort zone and do good for him what he told me made me digg my heals in and scream all the way but I did it and feel so much better about my life now!

  • Rachel

    1. Symptoms of complacency in my life: doing the minimum on schoolwork, procrastinating (dong what I prefer to do rather than what I should do), not telling my unsaved friends about he gospel…

    2. I think I am known for what I do, that is getting good grades and being “smart”, but what I do is not a hard thing for me. People don’t know me for being a Christian, I’m just “the smart girl”.

    3. I really hope that I’m in the process of hatching, I want to fly for Christ!

    Katie’s Bonus Question- I think that contentment is to be satisfied with what we have been given by God, and complacency is when we do not desire to go deeper into the gift of his love for us and glorify him to the best of our ability. Contentment with what we have is not a bad thing, being to lazy to praise God with everything is.

  • Alexa G.

    That is a wonderful thing to think about and act on. I’m glad that I decided to come to this site. It show me a new side of things, which I have been getting new thinking on alot of things the past week and I think it’ll really help me with my walk with God thank you very much.

  • Jordan ELizabeth

    Amanda Howell- (way back on the 22nd, up about 32 comments)

    I’ve been thinking about what you said. Whenever I realize that I am tempted to hurry through a task, I have found that prayer is a deadly weapon- asking God to help me to, and help me to want to, do everything as unto Him. Maybe you’ve discovered the same thing. It’s the asking to WANT TO do something, and the WANT to WANT TO that is the most difficult.

    The Hard Stuff, (prayer, daily bible reading- basically self-discipline,) are all so important to growing and maturing in Jesus, but they are also the easiest to avoid. As they are our strongest weapons, and oftentimes weakest points, I think Satan tries to attack us there, weakening us as Christians and as a Body.

    Just some thoughts, In Christ-
    JORDAN ELIZABETH

  • Amanda Howell

    Jordon Elizabeth,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciated them. I don’t know why, but for some reason I never thought of it as Satan using those areas to attack me and I definitely struggle there. It really shows things in a different light. Thanks for that insight.
    God Bless!
    A sister in Christ…

  • http://lovingeverythinggood.blogspot.com/ Ana W.

    Thank you for writing this, Brett! It was very challenging and good for me to read! I’m really thankful to be learning all this stuff while I’m still young!

    Thank you so much for the book you and Alex wrote. It has been very good for me to read! I’ve read it twice so far, once when it first came out and the second time I read it out loud to my mom. I’m planning on going through the book, using the study guide, with a friend from church. I have lots to learn and it helps to read something that challenges and exhorts me to do what is right! Thanks so much!
    Love in Christ,
    Ana

  • Leandrie

    ~”Read the description of complacency above. What “symptoms” of complacency do you see in your own life?”

    I think the strongest symptom of complacency in my life is fear of the unknown. I am extremely comfortable with my life as it is, and the thought of something happening to change that scares me. I do abhor the new, and mistrust the untried. The other symptoms are also apparent in my life, but less so than these.

    ~”Are you known for what you don’t do, or for what you do? Why do you think it’s easier to just avoid evil than to pursue righteousness?”

    Because I’m expected to avoid evil, but I am hardly ever expected to pursue righteousness. It is allot easier to do something when it is expected of me (for instance doing well in school, my parents expect it, it’s not an option, so I do it.) But when something is not expected of me, however good it may be, it becomes allot harder to achieve (like say, taking college calculus while I’m still a junior in high school)

    ~”In the words of C.S. Lewis, are you trying to just be an ordinary, decent egg? What would it take for you to “hatch and learn to fly?”

    I would need a serious raise of expectancy in me, by both myself and others, before I hatch and learn to fly. I also believe I would need some supernatural intervention to help with the cracking process :P

    I don’t have time to answer the bonus question now, I’ll come back to it later. Thanks for posting thsi series! It has helped me diagnose my complacency problem, and has set me on the road to fix it.

    Leandrie.

  • Chelsy W.

    Hey y’all!

    This is such a great series! It really is encouraging to me, because I find myself being complacent a lot: the fear of change/the unknown and laziness often hold me back, but these articles are so encouraging!

    Here’s a great verse that goes along with what Alex & Brett were saying. I’m sure many of you have heard it before. (I use the NAS translation.)

    Romans 12:1-2 says, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

    One thing that is important to remember, though, in all of our pursuits to “present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice” is stated in 1 Corinthians 1:30:

    “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”

    It’s very easy for me to set up a list in my mind of things I want to change in myself, but can I really change myself? Sure, I can wear different clothes, put on lots of makeup, and hold all my true feelings inside, but deep down inside, I know that I’m still the same person I was before. Sooner or later it will show. No, it is Christ and only Christ that makes the difference, no matter how much wishing or effort we put into changing. (“The wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.” Romans 7:18b)

    Similarly, it’s very easy for me to set up a list of things I want to accomplish for God and the gospel, but if I cannot even change myself, can I change the world? He can accomplish everything all on His own, so it’s really not about what I can do for Him. Norm Wakefield put it this way (not an exact quote): there’s a big difference between me living for Christ, and Christ living through me.

    So, as Christians, though we can’t change anything on our own, just because Christ is in us, we can and will change, and we will also change the world. Maybe not in drastic ways like abolishing slavery, but maybe by encouraging someone in need of a friend, or setting an example for the children we know who look up to us. Our lives affect everyone around us, either for the better or the worst. If Christ is in us, it will be for the better, especially if we are constantly “renewing our minds” through His Word and “presenting our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice.”

  • Josh

    Read the description of complacency above. What “symptoms” of complacency do you see in your own life?
    Just hanging around in life and not doing anything or striving. Just being, not doing…
    Are you known for what you don’t do, or for what you do? Why do you think it’s easier to just avoid evil than to pursue righteousness? [Note: Tasha has posted an excellent response to this question. Check it out!]
    I think it’s easier to avoid evil than pursue righteousness because you could just say “oh yeah, I’ll not read bad magazines” or something but not read your Bible, or just not do a sin and not strive to do good.
    In the words of C.S. Lewis, are you trying to just be an ordinary, decent egg? What would it take for you to “hatch and learn to fly?”
    I’m not trying to be ordinary, that’s not something I want in my life. It would take me making my thoughts more well-rounded and cleaning up my spiritual and regular life.
    Katie’s “Bonus” Question from the Comment Section: What is the difference between contentment and complacency?
    Contentment is happiness with things as they are, such as having a house and not wanting a palace. Complacency is being lazy and just going along in life but not actually enjoying it, making a difference, or influencing the world.

  • Stephon

    I’ve been going to private school all my life and I see this everyday. Not just with the students, but with teachers also. It’s almost as if doing the hard thing is the wrong thing. It would be nice to see people at least attempting to do what’s right instead of what’s easy.

  • http://Amysview.wordpress.com Amy in Oregon

    Hi everyone,
    I’ve heard it said we are to be thankful ( for what God has done for us, in us, and through us) but then pursue “the more”. Always pursue the more!! Our God is infinite, He has no end. Our pursuit (of the knowledge) of Him will be endless. If we stop moving forward where will we be? (wrong kind of contentment i.e. complacency)
    Apostle Paul says: “I press onward towards the goal”. (Maybe if we find ourselves slowing down and slipping into complacency, we need to review/renew the “vision” (goals) of our lives?!

    Also another good quote I heard was: everything living thing on earth is either living and growing or shrinking and dying. You can’t stay in one place living the average life of mediocracy and be truly “living”. Rather you are just treading water until you get tired of that and start “dying”.

    Of course I am not saying go and get burned out and wrecking you life and health, there is a balence of work and rest. We do need to take care of ourselves.
    But that’s besides the point. :-)
    I think the stewardship greatly describes what we should be doing. (stewarding our time, energy, resources, health etc.)

    Anyway my exhortation to y’all is: Keep growing, keep learning, keep “doing hard things”, and keep seeking to know God.

    Just my 2 cents!
    God bless all y’all Bro’s and Sis’s!
    -Amy A.

    Just starting chapter 8 of Doing Hard Things, the book. I’ve loved your book so far Alex and Brett!! I wish I could get every teenager I lone to read it ;-)

  • Catherine

    1. I have noticed that I have a complacent attitude with the “small hard things” I have to do. God used your book to show me how wrong I was with it (I finished reading it 3 days ago). I don’t know how to cook almost anything, and my mom constantly wants to teach me, but I wasn’t really interested. Then, everytime I met somebody that cooked less than me, I felt good about my self (“I’m not that bad”, I used to think). The same with my messy room, I always told my parents how messy my friends’ room where and I felt that I was less bad than them. I didn’t spend enough time praying, but I felt relieved when I met someone “less spiritual” than me. But I realized that less bad is not what I’m called to be. I must strive for excellence in everything I do. I can’t offer mediocre things to God.

    2. It’s true that obeying God is about not doing some things (After all, 8 of the 10 commandments say No. But the Bible also says in James 4:17 that “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” We must constantly find new good things to do. Things that please a God. Keeping ourselves pure is important, but great men and women are recognized by what they do.

    3. Conforming with being ordinary is in reality, being mediocre. Since I understood this, I always have in mind that I could be better. I’m called to be saint, and that’s a really high calling. Until I have achieve that, I cannot just sit down thinking I’ve reached my goal.

    4. Contenment is not complaining for what you don’t have and accepting and learning to be happy with the things you have and can’t control, but at the same time, working to improve in everything you know you CAN change. Not comparing yourself with others and being grateful for what you have, but also knowing you can be better.
    Complacency is thinking you are good the way you are, even when deep down you know is wrong or could be better. Is when you have the possibility to improve and to do harder things, but you are too lazy for it.

    Alex & Brett: God bless you so much and thank you for everything you are doing to change today’s teenage generation. I remember when I was 13/14 my sunday school theme verse was 1 Timothy 4:12 and I memorized it, but now I know what it really means, and what it compromises me to.

  • Sarah Beth

    I’m finally getting to these questions. After I talked with several people about the definition of complacency I had to do alot of thinking.

    Read the descriptionof complacency above. What “symptoms” of complacency do you see in your own life?

    I am probably most complacent in math, and creative writing; but I also have a problem just getting out of bed in the morning. I just lay there and tell myself that I don’t technically have to get up until seven, so why get up earlier. When really I should get up earlier to read the Bible and pray. As a result I have to rush through it, and I know I’m not getting everything out of it I should be. (I’m really working on this.)

    Are you known for what you do or what you don’t do? Why do you think it is easier to avoid evil than pursue righteousness.

    I think I am known for what I do, but that is not always good. The things I do are normally rather easy. When I do something hard my family is always so much happier, because at fourteen I should be doing hard things. So this is another area that really needs work. I’m also complacent in my relationship with my brother.

    I think it is easier to avoid evil than to pursue righteousness, because to pursue righteousness you have to be willing to go against the crowd, and lots of times it will cost you your social standing HERE on Earth. To avoid evil you just have to know right from wrong, and you have to learn to say no. Lots of times you can still hang out with the same friends.

    That’s all I have time for. Ya’ll have really convicted me in alot of areas. THANK YOU.
    I feel like I can now salvage my teen years.

    In Christ,
    Sarah

  • Sarah Beth

    I thought of one thing after I cut the internet off. We don’t always have to change our lifestyle. Pursueing righteousness IS a lifestyle. It is the lifestyle Christ expects of us.

    In Christ,
    Sarah

  • Miriam

    That was soo good for me! I just began reading your book & just got to the chapter on complacency and found that a lot of it was true for my life! But I’ve purposed in my heart that beings this year life seems to keep handing me many “lemons”, I will make lemonade!- With God’s help! Thanx A LOT for waking me up! God bless you guys!

  • Penny Q.

    Kristen,
    You’re right that from the description, complacency and depression look awfully similar. The description above, states, “The first symptom is satisfaction with things as they are.” My best guess about the difference between complacency and depression would be that depression has a lack of satisfaction. I hardly think that “misery” would be a good word for describing complacency, but from my experience, it fits depression pretty neatly. The feeling may include its own twisted pleasure, but it’s still primarily bad. Also, I’ve seen very little opportunity to draw any strength, false or no, from looking back while depressed. Out of it, fine; in it, doesn’t work so well.

    On another note, I would say depression is actually a medical condition. Complacency isn’t.

    I really hope that was helpful, dearheart.

  • Jordan ELizabeth

    What is the difference between complacency and contentment?

    Complacency is being happy with where you have gotten yourself (usually by minimal effort.)

    Contentment is being happy with where God has put you and the circumstances over which you have no control.

    In Christ-
    Jordan Elizabeth

  • Sarah Beth

    Sorry, I am totally messing this up. What I meant to say was that to avoid evil we don’t always have to completely change our lifestyle. Pursueing righteousness is a lifestyle.

  • Kate D.

    I really like this post! It is applicable and very convicting to me. What really stood out to me is the part that says: “For Christians this often reveals itself when we become satisfied avoiding evil, but not pursuing good.” Too often I can become complacent with just “avoiding evil” instead of “pursuing good.” I need to pray about “pursuing good” with all my heart, instead of just being satisfied with “not doing bad things.” Thanks so much for this post!

  • http://www.thefergfam.blogspot.com Chelsea

    Discussion Question 2 is very convicting for me. Just this week I’ve been struggling with this. I am involved in a youth theatre group in my area and I’ve made a few Christian and several non-Christian friends there. One of their favorite things to talk about before rehearsal is the latest gossip from anyone who will talk. I have never participated in the gossip, I usually move to another seat when they start gossipping. One of my {non-Christian} friends told me the other day that he respects the fact that I’ve never gossiped with them. He told another {Christian} friend that he should either gossip, like most of the kids, or never gossip, like me and my sister, but not to ride the fence on it. It reminded me of the Scripture in Revelation about God wanting to spit lukewarm Christians out of His mouth. While I was encouraged that my theatre friends respect me and don’t ridicule me for not gossipping, I was also convicted by his statement. My friends, whether they speak to me or not, are watching and noticing what I do. It’s well known in our group that I’m a Christian, my dad’s a pastor, and I don’t do a lot of things the other people do. It was kind of scary to realize that they all watch what I do. That being said, I am more known at my theatre group for what I don’t do rather than what I do. I don’t do what everyone else is doing, but I do I pursue righteousness?? I’m still thinking abou the answer to that one. Thank you, Alex and Brett, so much for this series that does not cease to convict. Keep up the good work!! :)

  • http://handmaiden2christ.blogspot.com Kyndra

    Wow. Very convicting post.
    I think that it can certainly be easy to fall into the trap of complacency, especially when our lives are already busy. It’s easy to just fall into the “rut” of daily living and to be content with that rather than wanting more of God, more of His righteousness in our lives. This is an especially difficult challenge for me since, in my life, I tend to swing between the extremes of desiring perfection and attempting to do everything (an extreme which leaves me quickly burnt out and exhausted) and falling into a pattern of complacency where I am simply “floating” through life, allowing it to take me where it will.

    I am also struggling with the righteousness vs. not sinning issue and with being known by what I don’t do rather than what I do. What exactly does it look like to be known for your righteousness, for what you do, rather than for your lack of sin and what you don’t do? These are certainly things to ponder.

    Thank you for the challenging, though provoking post!

  • http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/spitfires Joshua Letchford

    I suppose that avoiding complacency is all part of having an active walk with God- asking Him to show us when we stand in danger of falling into complacency, and relying on God to help us to keep a “delight… in the law of the Lord”.

    I think the difference between complacency and contentment is that contentment is being happy that things are in God’s hands, and complacency is resting on your own laurels. Thinking that you’ve done enough serving God. God created us to love and serve Him, and if we love Him, we will never want to stop serving Him, because serving Him is an act of love. The opposite of this is complacency; being satisfied with serving God only half-heartedly.

  • Lydia D.

    I wish I had enough time to answer all the questions! Unfortunately, I do not so I will just answer Katie’s Bonus Question.

    What is the difference between contentment and complacency?

    I believe that these are similar in the fact that both of these have the attitude that everything is fine with their life. The difference is that contentment is still striving to get better, while complacency does not want to bother to improve.

  • Morgan

    This is an excellent post!
    Why do you think it’s easier to just avoid evil than to pursue righteousness?
    Although sometimes it’s very hard to avoid evil (especially if it is something you’re struggling with), I think it is harder to pursue righteousness. Pursing righteousness takes listening to God, reading your Bible, praying, and most importantly following through with what He tells you to do. It takes effort on your part. (which is a good thing, because you will grow)

    I am 15 and I read the Do Hard Things book about a year ago and came to your conference near Charlotte. It has greatly impacted my life! Just last week I began leading a book study on Do Hard Things with the middle school girls at my church and I have been using the study guide that you posted on the site. I’m praying that it will impact them as much and more as me. Thank you guys for following God’s plan for your life!!

  • Morgan

    the second to last line is suppose to say:
    *as much and more than me

  • Charles

    Thank you guys so much for writing these, it brings out things in my life that I don’t really realize until someone brings them up. Which you guys are good about bringing things to my attention that need to be taken care of! Thank you guys so much!!
    Charles

  • http://lauramcmillion.blogspot.com Laura McMillion

    This post hits right at the heart of my spiritual struggles for the past several years, which I am just now beginning to make sense of. It is very easy to become complacent in a spiritual walk, to begin thinking, “I’m good enough,” or to begin believing that the work of changing us all falls to God and that we simply don’t need to strive for anything. Hand in hand with this, I’ve realized that the desire that a lot of us have not to “put God on a checklist” has led to a mentality that says if your spiritual life takes effort or is forced, it can’t be real- that you shouldn’t really have to try.

    It’s difficult to look back on wasted years, to realize when I got comfortable and how it’s been a slow, gradual slide downhill from there, or a gentle current pushing me inconspicuously away from God. Complacency is no small matter. The damage it can do to a Christian life is staggering.

  • Daniel

    Wow! This is an amazing website! This is the first time I have a chance after reading DO HARD THINGS to visiting this website. Thank you everybody for blessing me with your comments and Brett and Alex for writing an awe inspiring book! I definately reading the next book START HERE (practically dying to read it)!!!!!

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