Skip to main content


By June 7, 2023No Comments
For the simple are killed by their turning away,
  and the complacency of fools destroys them;
but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
  and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.
Proverbs 1: 32-33

It’s been a few days now since returning from Costa Rica. I went to tell Bible stories to kids about creation and salvation. As usually happens when coming down from the excitement of a mission trip, I fall into contemplative despair. Sometimes this is followed by doubt and frustration about God’s direction for me.

But God has a great sense of humor. I have learned to recognize His humor every day. I heard His voice in several readings since I returned from my trip. A word that stood out quite conspicuously was “complacency.” I read Andy Andrews’ book, “The Heart Mender,” while on the trip. I won’t give away the story, but it is worth reading. In the book, Andrews cites Alexander Tyler’s book written in 1797, “The Fall of The Athenian Republic.” Tyler quotes:

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back into bondage.

I recognize this complacency in my spiritual life. I let my guard down in areas I’ve conquered in the past. Mainly, I doubt my purpose. I had confidence, eagerness, and direction earlier in the year, but now I second-guess my direction. Where do I fit into your plan, LORD?

I copied my devotionals for the days on my trip to reduce the volume packed in suitcases. But I accidentally skipped over two days that I read once back. This was God’s humor because I might have missed God’s message otherwise.

As mentioned before, this year, I am reading Chris Tiegreen’s devotional, “Praying in Faith.” One I missed in Costa Rica had the subject, “Plead His Promises.” The reference verse is Ephesians 6:17, “Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Chris writes, “When you first embrace a promise of God, you might think that’s the end of the story. He said it, you believe it; it’s a done deal.” He continues by saying that this statement might be accurate, but there will be obstacles that cause doubt through misunderstanding, temptations, and lies. I’ll add complacency to the list.

As Chris explains, God doesn’t speak things that grow weaker over time, but our faith can weaken, and we can begin to wonder where God is in a situation. We must continually be on guard against complacency and doubt in our lives. Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-5a (ESV):

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, 
disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, 
slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, 
reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 
having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.

Whoa! Paul does not hold back. Does this sound anything like our current times? The definition of complacency in Webster’s is: “self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.” After researching facts and Scripture for this article, I have come to terms with my complacency. I learned I need to step up my prayer life and be intentionally on guard against the world’s opinions. I will pray God’s promises into my life and the lives of those around me and have faith that God makes good on His promises.