The dangers of complacency

At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps
and punish those who are complacent,
who are like wine left on its dregs,
who think, “The Lord will do nothing,
either good or bad.”  Zephaniah 1:12

This is where we left off yesterday and where we need to pick up today.

With 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.

Complacency lulls you into a false sense of security.

It tells you that everything is going to be OK.

Complacency draws you into a blinkered view of the world.

It tells you that it’s not your problem, that there’s nothing that you can do.

Complacency keeps you distracted from the things that really matter.

It tells you that life is all about your pursuit of personal happiness and material gain.

Complacency fools you into ignoring the consequences of your actions.

It tells you that your choices won’t make any material difference.

Complacency leaves you feeling smug.

It tells you that you’re doing better than the next person.

Complacency dissolves any motivation for change.

It tells you that your life is fine, just as it is.

Complacency allows this to happen.

And this…

And this…

And this…

And this…

Complacency turns a blind eye to what is going on around the world. In our community. Next door. Under our own roof.

Complacency looks the other way.

It tells us that God doesn’t see what we do, doesn’t care what we do, won’t respond to what we do.

Zephaniah describes the complacent like wine left on its dregs.

When a wine is left for too long in one position, it settles. Undisturbed wine implies prosperity and affluence, for only the rich could afford to have a supply of wine that remains undrunk. The dregs separate out and settle at the bottom. In this way, the very best wine becomes even better, but anything but the very highest quality simply becomes worse. Ruined. Undrinkable. That’s quite a risk to take.

That’s the danger of complacency. We become stuck in a rut, doing things just because we’ve always done them. We’re comfortable in our comfort zone and see no reason to venture out. We settle. We’re OK and OK is enough. We keep our heads down and get on with our own lives. Nothing shakes us up and gets us moving on and awakens our conscience. We become set in our ways and our ways are not always the best ways.

Zephaniah makes it clear that God does not tolerate complacency.

Not then.

Not now.

Complacency, by its very nature, encourages procrastination and indecision.

It tells us that change can wait, that action need not be taken today.

Complacency is lying to you and to me.


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