The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none. Thomas Carlyle
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is the slogan of the complacent, the arrogant or the scared. It’s an excuse for inaction, a call to non-arms. Colin Powell
Is complacency a good or a bad thing? It is a fine line. Complacency implies satisfaction. There is danger in being too easily satisfied. The risk is stagnancy and laziness. We should never start believing we have learned all that there is to learn, done everything worth doing, and successfully lived up to and accomplished all that was within our realm of possibility. We should never find ourselves becoming complacent in such ways.
For one thing, we should always be experiencing, learning, and growing. This should start when we are born and should not stop until we close our eyes. In this sense we should never believe we are finished and done; and should never allow ourselves to feel complacent. How can we feel complacent if we know that we are unfinished and incomplete with known shortcomings and weaknesses? Complacency, status quo, “leaving well enough alone”, can be preludes to failure. Many marriages have ended in divorce due to stagnancy and complacency. Taking our jobs, relationships, homes, health, and life in general for granted can result in our losing what we considered to be precious. Weeds will grow in our garden if we do not give it the care and attention it deserves.
We are a work in process and always will be. This means we are unfinished. Problems await us if we do not approach ourselves in this light. Smugness, conceit, or arrogance can be waiting in the wings. Becoming the best that we can become should be our life-long goal and quest. We will never get there, but it is something always worth striving for. With this mindset, complacency should never become a problem. Then we can feel relatively good about our selves. This is a good and healthy form of complacency, or better yet, a healthy contentment.
We can be satisfied in one sense of the word, but never satisfied in another. We can be satisfied in the short term, but not satisfied in the long term. There should be a sense of satisfaction-dissatisfaction balance; accepting and loving ourselves for who we are today; with the understanding that we are responsible for becoming a better person tomorrow and the day after. Healthy dissatisfaction comes from knowing we are far from being where we are capable of being. Whenever we are less than we can be, there is no justification for staying stationary.
Challenge: You should never be totally satisfied with where you are in life? However, you should have a sense of healthy satisfaction that you are engaged in managing and directing your efforts to become your best. Where is complacency a problem for you; relationships, family, job, health, education, etc.? You should have a mindset and a commitment that you will always be a work in progress. Do not let complacency hold you back.
Wisdom: We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present. Thomas Edison
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33
God never wants complacency. He wants us to have active faith and to trust in him. As we grow and become more and more the person he designed us to be, we will find more and more peace in him. We will never have a sense of complacency we have become all we can become. His Holy Spirit will continue helping us work on our shortcomings, faults and our spiritual growth. We can have a healthy peace knowing God is working in our lives.
Prayer: I can never be satisfied in the self. Help me to let go and let You mold me and make me.