Beware of basking in self-satisfaction
Self-satisfaction is downright dangerous, and yet we’re all prone to it. We can get to feeling spiritually self-content, believing that since we’re a “good enough” Christian for most churches, God is satisfied with our “good enough.” We can then wind up giving ourselves spiritual kudos for going to church. We pat ourselves on the back when we put something in the collection plate or give to the needy. We feel pretty awesome for leading a home group or Sunday school class. We can even think we’ve gone the “second mile” when we volunteer to help with a ministry.
Self-evaluation vs. God-evaluation
I suppose our spiritual self-satisfaction would be fine if our opinion of ourselves mattered. But it doesn’t. One day we will each stand before a Holy God and give an account of ourselves – what we did with our spiritual gifts and physical resources, our salvation, the knowledge of God we possess, and the opportunities we’ve had. We’re not going to stand before some higher ups in our church or before our friends and family. We’re going to be in the court of the living God, who will assess what we’ve done with the life He gave us. In that moment, the only opinion that’ll matter regarding our time in church and on earth is God’s.
The Tale of Your Talents
The Scripture says that God has given EACH of us a “manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7). That means each Christian has something from God to give others. The “common good” has to do with building up the Church, as we make disciples who conform their lives to Jesus Christ, and advance the Kingdom of God on earth. In Matthew 25, Jesus gives us a series of parables that highlight how people can miss the God mark for their lives, while claiming to know God. One of those stories is about the talents God gives us. So, let me ask you a question: what if God gave you two talents, but you’re only using one? What if you’re using two talents, but God actually gave you five? What if you’ve got one talent, and aren’t bothering to use it? Like I said, self-satisfaction can be spiritually dangerous!
What’s NOT the sum of your Christian life
Seriously – you can’t just show up to church, Bible study, volunteer every now and again, and think that’s the Christian life. You can’t just read your Bible (though you DO need to do that!), listen to Christian music, and watch Christian Tik Toks. You can’t reduce your Christianity to a bunch of church (or Well!) events that fit within your schedule. The Christian life is designed to be lived in forward motion. It’s a lifestyle that’s God-centric, others-centric, and rooted in Christ for its purpose and identity. You can’t be okay with “good enough,” and at the same time, complete the work God prepared for you to do (Ephesians 2:10).
Complacency doesn’t get a prize
The good news is that God really wants each of us to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant” from His own mouth. He’s even made it possible for us to hear that because He’s already “given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). So, if you’ve gotten complacent, get up and start walking out your faith! God isn’t going to tell you how many talents He gave you. He’s not going to tell you when you’ve met your quota of good deeds and spiritual opportunities. Therefore, the best thing you can do is just live all out for Jesus. Hold nothing back. Abide in Christ, love others, disciple God’s people, give to God’s causes, rest and breathe. Repeat. Do that at your full speed and with your whole capacity until Jesus takes you home. You will grow, others will be blessed, the Kingdom will advance, the church will be edified, and you will have saved yourself from a very dangerous place called complacency.