What are you relying on? This is a question that we each need to ask ourselves on a regular (if not daily) basis. It becomes easy to slip into relying on something without realizing it.
In industries such as manufacturing, timber, construction where safety is a big issue, it can be easy to fall into ease. As organizations create stronger safety programs and better safety equipment, workers can grow into a sense of comfort. Then they may overly rely on their safety equipment. Then they make mistakes that endanger themselves, others, and the successful completion of their jobs.
This can also be seen when people spend lots of money (often more than they make) to have a good life. This somewhat works when the economy is going well, but things happen, and economies weaken.
This can also be seen in politics, from local to international, as people make assumptions about their supporters or even their countries as they move around and make deals.
It is also seen in the church. While the apparent dominance of the Moral Majority of the 1980s–1990s indicated that the “church” was strong, it showed that the church had lost its way. The church relied on politics and power to make a difference, rather than the love and grace of Jesus. As the church becomes culturally sidelined, there is a growing awareness of not just the earthly power lost, but also the freedom gained and the power from on high that comes with it.
The Jews understood and venerated their ancestors, particularly Abraham and Israel. They venerated Moses as the Prophet of the Most High. They had the Law.
They had become reliant and comfortable. It seems strange for them to be comfortable with the Roman occupation. It was just the status quo, and no one wanted the boat to be rocked.
Then along comes Jesus to rock the boat, and all the complacency came to a head. For too long the Jews had taken their (very) special place for granted. It was time for them to wake up.
Part of Paul’s awakening was through this as well. While he still proudly proclaimed his Israelite heritage, he set it aside for the greater identity of being a follower of Jesus. While he didn’t toss his heritage out (for it gave him the framework to understand the work of Jesus), he recognized it for what it was…a foreshadow of what was to come…the Body of Christ.
※ Prayer ※
Jesus, may we be shaken daily by who you are so that we are never complacent. Amen.
※ Questions ※
1) Where is your life of faith too complacent?
2) Where do you see the life of the church too complacent?
3) Where else in life (outside of faith) are you seeing complacency?