“Woe to you who are complacent in Zion.” (Amos 6:1)
During the middle of the eighth century before Christ, the prophet, Amos, was decrying those in Israel who were accumulating wealth and neglecting the poor.
Complacency is ruinous to almost any endeavor of life – athletics, parenting, doing your job well, and living out our Christian faith. A few years ago I read a book entitled Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis, describing her experience of going on a mission trip to Uganda over Christmas break of her senior year in high school and how it led her into full time ministry to care for and educate the poorest children of Uganda.
The book describes multiple stories reflecting a special God-inspired love she acquired for children who live in houses of sticks, stones and mud, and sleep on hard dirt floors surrounded by filth and disease. After returning to Uganda instead of going on to college as her parents desired, her reaction was:
“In my mind, these people had every reason to be despondent and downcast, but were the most joyful human beings I could imagine. I learned so much from them as they made my frustrations seem small and petty and taught me just to rejoice in the simple pleasures God surrounded me with. Once I could do this, I embraced extreme exhilaration; I felt closer to God, to myself and the people, and more alive than ever before.”
Katy is the exact opposite of being complacent. She is full of passion for the Lord Jesus Christ, and she is bringing his presence to hundreds of children in Uganda, thirteen of whom she has since adopted as a single mother.
Like Katie, all of us who have been baptized have God dwelling within us. Do we let his presence and love be manifested through us to the people and circumstances in our lives, or do we bury his presence through our complacency? I wish I could say that I always embrace the same level of passion for the Lord’s call on my life as Katie’s, but I struggle with the distractions of my comfortable life.
We must remember the words of Jesus to the church of Laodicea, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:15)
Fortunately, through my affiliation with Christians in Commerce, I have been able to support in an indirect way that the people of Uganda hear about Jesus Christ, and to assist with their need for clean water, food and education. But we don’t need to go to Africa to bring God’s presence to the people in our lives including our families, work colleagues, friends and strangers.
Am I complacent in living out my Christian faith with the people and circumstances in my life?