"showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements."
"in a state of peaceful happiness."
Hi. My name is Noah and I am guilty of fighting too hard against complacency.
Now I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but hear me out. In my life, the one thing I have never wished to be is mundane. To be ordinary, below attention, not worthy of special mention, were my greatest fears. As a result of this mindset, I have always struggled to be more. As ungrammatical as that sentence is, it fits my situation very well. I wanted to be "more" in all areas. Notability, career accomplishments, renown, personal character, respectability, trustworthiness, mental acuity, any area of life in which it is possible to excel, I wanted to excel, and excel more than all others around me. Understandably, this led me to have a very competitive, industrious nature. This nature has been both a blessing and a curse. The area that applies here is the curse.
As someone who is constantly looking for more accomplishments in any given area of life, I have yet to be satisfied with any accomplishments of my own. While many would say: "Isn't it a good thing to never rest on your accomplishments?" Well, yes, and no. I have achieved much more than even I realize because of my diligence and perseverance. However, with complacency as my main enemy, I have also succeeded in developing an internal will to achieve more that has effectively disabled my ability to be content! As I constantly search for a better job, a higher rate of pay, more influential accomplishments, and relationships that will yield the most rewards, I find myself forgetting that God commands us to be content in whatever situation we find ourselves. Not that I should be satisfied with ordinary, but I should be striving to be extraordinary in ways that will glorify and bring honor to the name of Christ and His church, not in ways that bring honor to myself. The drive to achieve more has successfully stripped away my appreciation of now. I fail to appreciate the physical blessings in my life, the relationships which God has seen fit to bring about, and the daily workings of God's hand in my life to give me the optimum balance of trials and good fortune to bring my spiritual self to full maturity. I have striven to put as much distance between myself and complacency as possible, and in so doing, have also left an ever widening space between my soul and true contentedness.
I still do not advocate resting on one's laurels, or placing overmuch emphasis on accomplishments gone by. However, I do believe that in our rush to achieve all that of which we are capable, we must not forget that God has designed a plan which may not include financial success, public lauding, or even 3 meals in a day. I may not accomplish all of the things that I wish to accomplish in this life. I may never have the level of physical success to which I aspire. I do not believe this means that I should stop working towards a further goal each day. But. I do believe that the goals which I strive toward must be spiritual ones. I should be working towards greater spiritual maturity, increased ministerial success, and a deeper personal fellowship with the Lord of this universe. When these things are added to my life, the physical success will comes as God wills it, and never will I feel the despairing pangs of complacency. I will be aware of His blessings, and He will teach me to be content. In my drive for success, I have become complacent in my inability to be content. That attitude should be the true enemy. Our goal should not be one of earthly ambition, but of a higher calling, and a constantly renewed appreciation of the life with which we are so richly blessed.
"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
Philippians Chapter 4, verses 11 through 13. King James Bible.