Glen Young

T he greatest problem facing the church, today, is complacency. The dictionary defines complacency as, ‘a feeling of quiet satisfaction.’ Some may ask, “What is wrong with that?” Where complacency exists, there is no hunger or thirsting for righteousness (Matthew 5:6). Only those who have an overwhelming desire for righteousness will give the necessary effort to succeed. To possess something, we must first want it. I am afraid that we have become so oriented to the pleasures of this world that we no longer want to possess Heaven.

         The feeling of quiet satisfaction produces self-righteousness. We have become like the Pharisees of old. Although we don’t put it into words, our hearts pray, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men, robbers, evildoers, adulterers. I attend services three times a week and give a tenth of all I get.” Our hearts have forgotten how to pray, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” See Luke 18:10-13.

         The feeling of quiet satisfaction cause us to demand of others what we do not demand of ourselves. This is spiritual suicide. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.” Matthew 7:1-5 (NIV)

         Now you, Christian, if you call yourself a child of God, if you rely on the Scriptures and brag about your relationship to God, if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the teachings of the New Testament, if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the doctrine of Christ the embodiment of knowledge and truth, you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, cheating, or breaking the law, are you dishonest in your dealings with others? You who say that people should not commit adultery, are you in a marriage which is adulterous because you have an unscriptural divorce? You who abhor idols, do you worship the gods of materialism and pleasure by devoting to them the majority of your time? You who brag about book, chapter and verse, do you dishonor God by your failure to handle aright the Word of Truth? As it is written: “God's name is blasphemed among the ungodly because of you.” See Romans 2:17-24.

         Complacency will destroy the Christian because it is like the Judas goat which leads lambs to their deaths. The Christian follows, feeling satisfied and happy, then comes destruction. “Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” Matthew 7:23 (NIV).