Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Contentment, Complacency, and Mediocracy (and where do I fit in?!)

We have had some pretty tough challenges over the last three years.  

Regardless how I feel, I know the Lord is in control; but lately, it sure doesn't feel like it.

Tonight while looking for a letter I thought I had saved on our PC; I came across a folder labeled, "Stacey's Book."  Not sure what took me there, but of all the sub folders I opened, it was one on contentment.  

I know, right!?!

So here is an exert out of "Pulling Weeds."  This particular devotional was written in September of 2008.  I honestly do not remember writing it; and probably none of this will mean anything to anyone else cause it was obviously meant for moi.  But here goes anyway.  (I have no idea why certain sentences are highlighted.  I have been trying for an hour to undo them and it is just not working.  I will play with it at another time when I am not so tired.)

Contentment, Complacency, and Mediocracy (and where do I fit in?!)

Contentment: as defined by Webster Dictionary means, "the quality or state of being content.

Content:  means satisfied

Complacency:  self-satisfaction; to be complacent:  unconcerned.

I received confirmation on this devotional the other day when I had been studying and dealing with complacency in my own life.  I then saw a church sign that read, “Complacency brings on Mediocracy."

Mediocracy is defined as moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance; ordinary.  

Now that I have my definitions in order, lets see what the scriptures tell me about contentment and being content in "all things."

  • Philippians 4:11, "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."

  • Philippians 4:12, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

  • I Timothy 6:6, "But godliness with contentment is great gain."

  • I Timothy 6:8, "But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."

  • Hebrews 13:5, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' "

About Complacency:

  • Amos 6:1, [Woe to the Complacent]

  • Zephaniah 1:12, "At that time I will serach Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent."

  • Proverbs 1:32, "For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of food will destroy them;"

And about being half hearted/mediocre:

While I did several searches, the only scriptures I could find that referred to being "half hearted," spoke to the opposite . . . . . and the positive side; that everything I (and you) do, is to be done with all our heart, not half-hearted!
  • Deuteronomy 6:5, "Love the Lord your God will all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

  • Deuteronomy 10:12, [Fear the Lord] And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God will all your heart and with all your soul."

  • Deuteronomy 26:16, [Follow the Lord's Commands] The Lord your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul."

Based on just these few scriptures, it seems to me that ALL things I do should be done whole hearted, that I should not become complacent in who I am in Christ, but striving to be more like Him daily, and that I am to be content in all circumstances!  

So….how do I do that?

Here are a few thoughts I’ve come up….this is not from a Bible scholar, this is from the school of hard knocks.  :)

What should I do when I start feeling complacent?  

~Be real.  The Lord already knows how I how I feel, so I might as well tell Him.  Luke 16:15 says, He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts.”    By telling Him, it allows satan to not have any control over us in that particular area.  Satan will play on your emotions/feelings when he thinks you are holding back or trying to keep secrets from the Lord or others.

~PRAY!  Luke 18: 1 – 8  Confide and confess to a friend/mentor.  The widow was persistent!  She didn’t give up.  Even a non-God fearing judge granted her wish.

~Repent.  Ask the Lord’s forgiveness for not putting Him first.  When we are complacent, we become mediocre!  We then set ourselves up for having idols . . . you know, those "things" that come before the Lord.  We can’t be at our best for Him if we are mediocre.

~Evaluate.  Are you where you are right now because you have too much on your plate?  Remember, if the devil can’t get you bad, he will get you busy!  Ask the Lord what you should give up in order to not feel so overwhelmed and to do what He has called you to do with all your heart!  You are better doing one thing for the whole heartedly than a bunch of things half hearted!.

~Rest in the Lord.  Once you’ve determined what the Lord wants you to put aside, rest in the fact that He is in control of all things!  No good thing will be with-held from you.  Isaiah 26:3 says, You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you."

~Restore.  Pray for restoration.  Psalm 51:12, Restore to me the joy of your salvation Lord.  There are times of valley’s and times of mountain tops in our walk with the Lord.  If you are spending all your time on the mountain top and satan isn’t coming after you, then you need to re-evaluate your walk with the Lord.  If you are doing what the Lord wants, satan will be coming after you…be ready.  If you spend all your time in the valley and have no joy, you need to re-evaluate your walk with the Lord.

~Fake it till you make it.  Now, that does not mean to not be real!  What I’m saying is, do what you got to do to get to where you know you ought to be BUT don’t wear a mask.  What does that mean?  Someone asks how things are, be real.  “Right now they bite, but the Lord will see me through.”

~Praise Him!  Sing songs, play music!  Music sooths the heart and changes your heart!

~Endure.  He will see me through.  The word, "through," is written 17 times in Roman 5 in the NASB.  Go read it. 

Now, I can know all the facts and I can know everything I am supposed to do, but what if I just don’t have it in me? 

~Take your thoughts captive and quit your stinkin thinkin!

2 Corinthians 10:5 says, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

~Talk to someone.  Don’t let satan beat you up because you are in a funk.

John 8:32 says you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.  That freedom is Jesus Christ.  He is the truth, He is the freedom.

Song by Casting Crowns, Slow Fade….

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