It is of prime importance to look after ourselves, for if we neglect to do this, we can easily slip into SPIRITUAL COMPLACENCY. All of a sudden, things that once mattered to us mean very little.
You have been designed for GREATNESS, so why should you settle for mediocrity, for being second-rate, for less than you deserve?
One area you can NEVER afford to be complacent in is the deep sense of connection you have with your self, with who you really are, with your values, your sense of identity and ultimate purpose.
To live fully and intentionally requires continuous courage to be yourself, regardless of circumstances, peer pressure, or other outside influences. It requires the deepest commitment to personal honesty. It also requires that you never be willing to squander, sacrifice, trade away, barter or otherwise exchange any of these for money.
Matthew 16:26 (Message version) says it this way,
“What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?“
Spiritual Complacency vs. INTEGRITY
Your first concern should always be in the area of personal integrity, being true to who you really are. If you lose sight of this, your life takes a departure from reality, your life becomes filled with pretense, sham and illusion, and eventually you don’t feel or recognize yourself anymore. You have a full-blown spiritual crisis.
The word integrity comes from the Latin, meaning the state of being whole, entire, nothing lacking; integer being a whole number, and integral being essential and intrinsic.
Considering that integrity is wholeness, why do so many people live fractional lives, lacking self-esteem or self-sufficiency?
This only empowers anxiety, worry and fear to rule over one’s life, all of which is unnecessary.
Integrity also means adherence to moral and ethical principles, personal honesty, and soundness of moral character. It means being honorable, righteous and incorruptible. It means being forthright and sincere, having the degree of candor that mirrors purity of character.
Integrity is like virginity. There is an undiluted purity to it. It may be an easier task to unscramble a dozen eggs and return them to their original form than to recover your personal integrity.
No doubt you’ve heard of people who have crossed the invisible lines of morality, ignoring the principles that keep them honest, who have traded away their integrity for untold sums of money. They became complacent with their personal integrity, and end up spending the rest of their lives in jail for fraud, embezzlement or grand larceny.
You might think this would never happen to you, that it only happens to others, but you never know when you may succumb to the power of temptation.
The answer, of course, is to be vigilant over your own integrity, to be spiritually strong, to be righteous before God.
George MacDonald said,
“All growth that is not toward God, is growing to decay.“
When you have the coherence of the elements of integrity, you have peace, unity and wholeness within yourself because they are in alignment with the facts of who you actually are, your spiritual essence. You may have noticed that the word factual contains the word actual.
Be what you seem. Character counts, therefore personify integrity.
Spiritual Complacency vs. RESPONSIBILITY
When it comes to personal responsibility, many people throw in the towel, they simply give up, expecting someone else to pick up the slack or take the blame for their failings.
This facet of spiritual complacency is called LAZINESS, being averse to work, being indifferent, neglecting duties.
Some people use the excuse, “It ain’t my job!” Clear communication of duties, expectations and responsibilities solves this issue.
In some cases, it is a callous disregard for others, being insensitive and apathetic, no longer interested in what is going on.
It is easy to understand how laziness springs forth from procrastination.
Something that should be looked after immediately gets put off indefinitely.
In business, this leads to overdue assignments, lower productivity, cost overruns, and profit loss. This passivity does not jive with successful people.
The answer, of course, is diligence.
From a spiritual perspective, you cannot afford to be lazy either. Being diligent in keeping watch over your personality assures that you remain attentive, caring, considerate, passionate, warm and sensitive.
Henry Drummond wisely stated,
“If a man does not exercise his arm he develops no biceps muscle; and if a man does not exercise his soul, he acquires no muscle in his soul, no strength of character, no vigor of moral fiber, nor beauty of spiritual growth.“
Lead from within. Weak leaders strive to be popular. As a result, they accept poor performance, disregard discipline, and tolerate tardiness. They talk about change but never implement it because they really don’t see it as urgent. Be decidedly different. Be firm in your decision-making. Then you will be able to take action that leads to results.
Personal pride. Take personal pride in what you do; not in a boastful manner, but in ways that motivate you to move forward.
No one else can be responsible for you, for your actions, reactions or inaction.
Spiritual Complacency vs. HUMILITY
The square root of all unhappiness is ego. If you do the math, you’ll
see how costly an error this is.
There is very wise counsel in Proverbs 18:12. It says,
“Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility.”
This serves as a warning against spiritual complacency.
Being disdainfully proud or scornfully arrogant leads to one’s downfall.
With smug self-satisfaction, the ego overshadows the soul, blind to the dangers that lay ahead.
Some people, in their conceit, deem themselves wise in their own eyes.
Proverbs 3:7 says,
“Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.“
This is a clarion call to true wisdom, that of having healthy self-esteem.
Think of how this improves your relationships with others.
Thomas Watson said, “The right manner of growth is to grow less in one’s own eyes.”
Spiritual Complacency vs. VIRTUE
A person of virtue has no room for spiritual complacency in their life.
Being a person of virtue, the quality of their character has all the hallmarks of excellence, making them a valuable asset to any community.
They harbor no evil intentions, but are thoughtful, kind and considerate.
They are consistently even-tempered; never mean-spirited, nor do they behave indecently.
They possess what is termed “moral rectitude”, that is, their conduct is governed by principles of equity and fairness. They are ever the “straight arrow”, known for being upright and honorable.
This is communicated quite clearly in who they are. They epitomize goodness. They are decent and ethical, gracious and humane, kindhearted and merciful. They are friendly and generous, extending good will to others.
Being forthright, they get straight to the point. They are direct and truthful, frank and fair, open and honest, impartial and sincere.
I trust this post has caused you to think about where you are in your life,
that it has been helpful.
Let me know what you think by commenting here. Thank you very much!
*All photos/graphics © 2013 WilliamButler.ca