“I’m okay where I’m at with God. I feel like I’m in a good place.”
It was an answer to the question, “Where do you want to be with God and where are you focusing on growing in your relationship with Him?”
It was our first day in basic theology class in college and this was the first question our professor asked us. His point was to show us how understanding theology and figuring out where we stand on topics will deepen our relationship with God. But this student’s answer sparked a whole different conversation in that first class.
Complacency in our relationship with Christ.
We talked about the dangerous line between contentment and complacency. We talked about how sometimes we tell ourselves that we are content with where God has us, but in reality we have become complacent and stagnant.
I had long forgotten this class until many years later. This was a time in my life where I was in such a different stage of life than I am now. I was single, unemployed, and it felt like life had given me a crap-sandwich. Anyone else been there?
I realized that I had become lazy. I was quick to make excuses about not reading my Bible, not spending quality quiet time with Him, not praying. And it wasn’t even that I was making the excuses with the intention of NOT spending time with Him. They were, what I thought to be, legitimate excuses (spoiler alert…no excuse is legitimate for not spending time with Him).
I kept telling myself that I was content with where God had me in life. I kept saying how okay I was with this season. But truth be told, I wasn’t. And shortly after I realized that what I was calling contentment had really become complacency.
All my friends my age were married with jobs that told you something about what they wanted to do in life. They were starting to have kids and buy houses. It seemed like they had their lives together. And to me, it seemed like right when I thought I was catching up, everything fell apart.
That is when I realized that I had been lazy. I had been so “happy” with where I was in life that I stopped caring about growing in Him. I stopped pursuing my Father. I thought my happiness was secure in those things.
Only when the sources of my happiness went away did I realize how incredibly wrong I was. How much I relied on things and people other than Christ to bring me satisfaction.
During those years when I felt like things were totally going the way I wanted, I got complacent in the most important relationship in my life. So when those things I put my happiness in were gone, I had no solid foundation to stand on.
I wasn’t content because I wasn’t in my Word. I wasn’t actively seeking to know Him more.
He is the source of joy and when we look to anything else to fulfill that joy we become complacent because we are focusing our eyes on others and ourselves to bring us satisfaction.
It is so important to be content where God has you in life, to understand that each season is for a reason. But so easily we get stuck in that place and be become complacent. We become stagnant. We cease to grow in Him.
This is a dangerous place to be, but a place I think we have all been or will be at some point in our lives. When we are complacent we begin to become unaware of our lack of growth. We aren’t concerned with growing in Him.
We stop relying on Him and become comfortable.
I notice this in my own life when I become lazy. I want to relax after work instead of actively seeking to nourish my relationship with Him. I will avoid any conversation that might spark conviction in my heart about my walk with the Lord.
This laziness produces a nice, comfy little delusional bubble that tells me I’m good where I’m at, I don’t need to do anymore that this.
Contentment, on the other hand, means that we are satisfied in Him alone, and our desire to know Him gets stronger every day. To be content is to find joy in Him, regardless of what season of life we are in and to long to grow in Him.
So how do we stay content with where God has us in life without becoming complacent?
We spend time in His Word daily.
We get to know His character through the scripture.
We pray. Passionately and vulnerably.
We get involved in Christ-centered community.
We keep our eyes on what God is doing and what He’s going to do.
We strive to be more and more like Him every single day.
If you’re actively seeking to grow in Him then you shouldn’t be in the same spiritual place you’re in right now. You should be able to look back on the past few months, the past years of your life and say, “Wow, look at all God has done.”
If you can’t say that you know Him better than you used to, if you don’t see growth in how you show love, how you treat people, how you live your life, then I’d venture to say that you have grown complacent.
The year that I learned I had become complacent was so hard. But once I sought to be intentional about living my life for Him and not others, I saw God move in ways I never imagined.
As Christians, we must stay alert. We must never grow stagnant. That’s when the enemy grabs hold of us without us even realizing it!
I pray that we can each hold each other accountable to pursuing the heart of Christ with a passion that keeps us content in Him. So that we can continue to grow and live wholly for Him.