Spiritual complacency is a dangerous spiritual condition.  It leaves us vulnerable to the spiritual dangers around us.  It leads to apathy and sometimes outright rejection of Christ and his Word.



Revelation 3:14-22 is a letter written to the church at Laodicea. It’s claim to fame, according to Christ is that they were “lukewarm.”

Lukewarmness is a spiritual condition that apparently, Jesus can’t stand. Another name for it might be “complacency.” Complacency is not contentment. Where contentment is finding joy in the blessings of walking with God, complacency has stopped walking.

4 Signs of Complacency

Here are 4 potential signs of complacency. I know these aren’t exhaustive, but maybe they will make each of us ask, “am I becoming complacent?”

1. We view ourselves higher than what God determines to be true.
In other words, we think we are doing okay spiritually when in fact, we are not. We compare ourselves with others, or even with our past failures and we sense success. Instead, Scripture encourages us to compare ourselves with the holiness of Jesus. (see Luke 18:10-14)

2. We live in an attitude of self-sufficiency. “I can handle life and what it brings me,” is what we say. Every day, we trust in our own ability to understand, decide and act, believing that constant dependence on God is either a dream or a nightmare. This kind of dependence is not a reality we should experience. (see Proverbs 3:5-6)

3. We are comfortable in the culture in which we live. A disciple of Jesus is never comfortable this side of heaven. When we align ourselves too closely with political philosophies, groups, systems, lifestyles, we stop thinking and evaluating critically and spiritually. If we are too settled, we no longer strive for the Kingdom of God. And then we miss out on what that Kingdom promises. (1 John 2:15-17)

4. We are spiritually satisfied without real spiritual awareness. Jesus saved us, but we don’t understand, or desire life with Him. Our faith is about who gets to go to heaven when they die, whether or not Jesus is there.  We live like forgiveness of sin is a one-time transaction, but we don’t live in constant repentance and confession. Our prayers are for shallow, tangible blessings, but not spiritual victories over the forces of darkness. (Ephesians 6:12-18)

What is the danger of complacency?  The image above illustrates it clearly.  We aren’t paying attention to real spiritual danger.   And…

1. We no longer have intimacy with Christ. (Matthew 7:21-23)
2. We are no longer part of His purposes. (John 15:8)
3. We are no longer prepared for the future. And it is coming! (John 5:28-30)

Moving toward a renewed faith

For most of us, we have seasons where complacency seems to take over. Our faith is a little lack-luster. It is something we keep in our back pocket, but don’t hold it in our hands like our lives depend on it.

Have you been complacent? Do you claim the promises of Jesus, but not concern yourself with living in oneness with him?
What have you done to get out of complacency?

Here is a blog I wrote in response to our spiritual complacency. It’s entitled Spiritual Complacency Reversed.

If there is a way I can encourage you, or serve your ministry, my email is on my “About Jim Renke” page.  Or you can direct message me on twitter @jimrenke, or instagram at jimrenke.  I’d love to hear from you. You can also stay connected on my facebook page.

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