I wonder if I'm the only person who's ever been confused about the difference between contentment and complacency.I'm told contentment is good. "Be content with what you have." (especially when what I have isn't what I want).
On the other hand; The word "complacency" conjures images of a tragically apathetic life, fueled by potato chips and a constant stream of Netflix….
I'm pretty sure complacency is a bad thing...We could probably all agree that we ought to be content with things like our material possessions, or even our physical appearances.
But after that, things can start to get a little fuzzy…
For example: Should I be content with my job or education if it doesn't allow me to use my talents and skills to the utmost?
Should I be content with my relationships, if I know they could be closer and more meaningful?
What about my relationship with God?
Where does contentment end and complacency begin?I started thinking about these things after reading a verse from the book of Proverbs:
-Proverbs 1:32"The complacency of fools destroys them" Hmm…That doesn't sound good.
I wanted to have a better understanding of what contentment and complacency actually were.
…So I googled the definitions.
Not exactly an amazing feat of scholarly inquiry, but hey…I'm not exactly a scholar.
It took about 3 seconds to find what I was looking for, and the Webster's Online Dictionary defines contentment as follows:
"the state of being happy and satisfied".
Ok. That was pretty much what I thought it meant.
The definition of "complacent" however, was enlightening:
I think it's reasonable to say, that if contentment is being satisfied with what we've been given, then complacency is an unawareness of our position.
And I'm pretty sure pride is a bad thing.
-Matthew 6:31-33What are we really seeking after?
Once we get our priorities in order, it becomes easier to see what we can and can't live with. And the things that actually do need to change become more apparent. When we have the right priorities, we get an accurate perspective of our position in relation to those priorities.