Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Dangers of Complacency

We often hear phrases like, "they live quite comfortably," or "I'm able to live a life of comfort," and we assign them positive connotations. However, I believe there is a difference between a life full of joy and peace, and a life where you are comfortable where you are at. Today, this post is about not getting to comfortable with where we are currently, and making the choice to continually work towards a better tomorrow.

Now, I love relaxing as much as the next guy. When I refer to a dangerous complacency, however, I'm talking about spiritual complacency. This is where you do okay most of the time, and consider yourself alright since you do most of the minimum requirements, i.e. often saying a vague prayer, reading your scriptures half-heartedly before dozing off, going to sacrament meeting each week and then leaving church early, etc. What I just described might be a little exaggerated, but not much, and I'm as guilty as anyone. What I want to share today is how to avoid complacency in our spiritual (and thereby overall) well-being.

Here's what I'm getting at: in my life, I've recently realized I was being complacent about my spirituality. And frankly, it's not fun. You start to notice a smaller measure of the spirit, among other things. And in our world today, we want to have the presence of the Holy Ghost as much as possible. I talked to my husband about my worries about a week ago, and we had a really good discussion, filled with reassurance and goal-making. That's the thing about complacency--you lack action. And when you lack action, your faith dwindles.

Right now in my life, I'm making career decisions (I'm graduating soon) and life decisions (like when to have children), and I need all the help I can get. The truth is, we always need the Lord. My husband pointed out to me the other day how little we actually think about the Savior and His Atonement. If I was being honest with myself, it was really mostly on Sunday when I was about to take the Sacrament. And yet, each week, we promise to always remember Him. So I tried it that week. And I was astounded at how I felt the spirit, and the love of the Savior. It also made the sacrament much more meaningful. 

So here's to acting, progressing, and faith-building! After the above-mentioned discussion, I went to the temple. And it was wonderful and exactly what I needed.


Then I went to church a couple days later. We had a fantastic lesson on Jesus Christ, and our teacher happened to talk a lot about what things are keeping us from being closer to Christ. I love those times where you feel like the lesson is just for you. I don't know if I felt like that just because I was fasting, or if it really was a tender mercy (probably both).


So I took careful notes, and shared them with my husband the next night for FHE. We decided to read our scriptures in the living room at around 8 or 9 at night, rather than in bed right before we fell asleep around 10:30 or 11. This promoted more discussion, and I felt like we were on the road to feasting on the words of Christ rather than just nibbling.

So here's what I've learned from this week:

1. You always need the Lord.
2. Getting caught in a rut of complacency is easy, and dangerous.
3. Faith and action are two inseparable concepts.
4. Reading scriptures, praying, and going to the temple are so important. You can't overdo them.
5. Working with your spouse to overcome your own problems is very helpful.
6. Self-inspection should take place often.
7. The Lord loves me, and is always there to help me (and you too!).

So here's to spiritual progression. I'm going to try harder. Feel free to join me :)