The Outcast


Slimy pond in Christchurch

How Can we Become Complacent? Part B. A Study Through the 7 Churches of Revelation

While in Christchurch, New Zealand, we discovered a slimy pond, covered with algae and duck-weed, and not attractive at all by human terms. To us it looked more like a mud pool than anything else. In fact, it looked so awful that no one was even interested in approaching it. Better ignore it, as if it didn't exist! Maybe that will make it disappear!

Strangely enough, that waterway is filled with life. It is the home to water fleas, water boatmen, back swimmers, bloodworms and many other diverse nymph stages of insects. They are quite useful, as they feed on the algae, and in return, they provide food for larger organisms such as fish.

Everything on our planet has a purpose. But what happens if we lose our purposefulness and become complacent and indifferent? We become worse than that yucky pond, for that pond at least still has a vital purpose!

How can believers become so complacent that their influence on society has become more deadly than refreshing? How can believers stop being the salt of the world?

"You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.'" (Rev 3:17a, NIV2)

A church with a rich attitude can easily become stagnant, for they seemingly have no needs, and they depend solely on the dollars of their members. Don't like the current loudspeakers? Let's buy new ones! The members will pay for it. Don't like the building? Let's build a new one more to our liking. The members will come through.

One little problem . . . What about the poor, the unreachables, the addicted . . . ? If our focus is only on ourselves, we have lost our ability to be a refreshing influence on society, and if we have no impact on our surrounding society, we are completely worthless!

Improving the structure of our church can be welcomed with open arms, but unless it is really necessary, is it really worthwhile? What would Jesus do in our circumstances?

Laodicea used to be quite an influential city. When an earthquake destroyed parts of the town in 61 A.D., the city refused any help from the Roman Empire. They used their own resources to rebuild what needed to be rebuild. After all, this city was a mecca to wealthy retirees. As these rich people had retired, they considered they had served their purpose in society and thus, had reached their goal. As a consequence, they were completely indifferent to any social issues. They had become utterly complacent!

We can become like that quite easily, even if we are not wealthy, or even if we are not retirees. Are we individually making a difference in our neighborhood, or are we going to church for our own purposes? If we are not living stones, we are nothing but dead bricks that crumble into nothingness.

"But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." (Rev 3:17b, NIV2) We are always the last ones to be aware of our situations. We may think we have made it, but what if we have not? Truly, it's not about ourselves, but about Jesus and others.

A rich attitude, which can be present even in less than influential citizens, will lead us to complacency. We need to constantly ask ourselves: Am I doing everything in honor of my Heavenly Dad? What would He want me to do? Is our main concern to reach the unreachables, helping the poor and encouraging the hopeless?

What can we do, however, if our church is completely complacent? Join us next time to find out!

It is better to be an unattractive pool that has a purpose than to be completely useless.

Would you like to go for a swim?

Rob Chaffart

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