Welcome to another session of Fine Lines*, the coaching niche about character – evidenced by a nature and disposition being refined to reflect Christ.
Today’s Fine Lines: Contentment and Complacency are like first cousins with a shared driveway between their two residences. Each one has a vehicle and veers to one side or the other to park in their own garage.
When it’s time to back out of the driveway, sometimes a jockeying of cars ensues with a game of ‘You go first. No, you go first,’ followed by fits of stops and starts. Each one may initially rise to the occasion to head out but only one can back out at a time.
The one that typically goes somewhere is Contentment – who backs out, waves and puts it in forward.
Complacency often pulls back in the garage, satisfied to put it in park and save on gas.
Contentment has learned the value of appreciating what it has while anticipating what other blessings the Lord has in store.
Complacency has no compelling desire to make things better because, to them, things are fine the way they are.
Not content to become complacent, Contentment knows that with godliness as their companion, great gain is obtained in ways that Complacency is not supplied.
But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.
For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.
I Timothy 6:6-7 NASB
Mama may have said, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” Actually, Contentment is. Together, they gain.
Contentment realizes we’ve already been the poorest we could be when we arrived on the planet and that it’s not going in the coffin with us when we leave. The things of this world will perish. The gifts from God are just that.
The only thing we carry out of this world with us is our character. The great gain is that blessed inner sense of contentment developed within us. Our character reflects wherever our temperament and outlook has been cultivated by our relationship with Christ.
Subtle is as subtle does. Though comfortable and seemingly non-threatening, Complacency has a blind spot: unawareness of actual danger or areas where its self-satisfaction needs a wake-up call or a reality check.
Complacency is happy for ‘blissful ignorance’ if that’s what it takes to remain in control.
Eventually and ever so subtly, Complacency becomes self-satisfied instead of God-satisfied.
Devotion to a developed habit of ‘pulling back in the garage and not going anywhere’, and Complacency’s middle name could be spelled r-e-v-e-r-s-e. Over time, inertia+ sets in and forward motion is nil. What air used to be in those tires has dissipated and life has gone flat.
Complacency is not a character endowment. Instead, it sucks the gas right out of your tank.
There are many ways Contentment and Complacency manifest. How they show up in one life may look and sound different in another. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed for everyone is unique in their make-up.
I’d like to pose some questions for you to consider:
How would you rate your current level of Contentment?
Do you sense a holy discontent stirring in you? How have you identified it? Or have you?
If you are/have been developing godliness with contentment, can you name some great gain received?
When and Where might you share your great gain with others? What thought, if any, have you given it?
How would you rate your comfort level with Complacency?
Where do you most feel the need to remain in control? What would it mean to loosen your grip?
Can you identify areas of interest, both past and present, that remain unfulfilled? Do you know why?
Do you struggle with inactivity, inaction, or lethargy while unable to pinpoint why?
These questions and others help to open doors of insight and understanding into that which ails or blesses us, stops us in our tracks or moves us forward.
I welcome your contact to begin or continue a conversation for living life forward with Contentment.
Although we are always striving for more of God,
we have a sense of contentment in Him.
Thought for the Day – Smith Wigglesworth
*Fine Lines – Character Coaching based on Hebrews 4:12
+ Inertia – apathy, sluggishness, lethargy, disinterest, inactivity, inaction, indolence, idleness
Free Photo courtesy of Unsplash / Ales Krivec