Summary: Overcome the problems of apathy, indifference and complacency by discovering key errors to avoid.
Overcoming the Problems of Complacency, Indifference and Apathy (Judges 18)
Many Christians are suffering from the problem of an apathetic attitude to God’s priorities. By their complacent attitudes some believers fall into the trap of selfish indifference to the passions of God for the five billion people who are yet to know Christ as their Savior.
A self-satisfied smugness is repugnant to God who still cries out, "You have left your first love." Let us look at the perils that complacency, apathy and a blasé indifference can lead to.
Illustration:The world’s smiles are more dangerous that its frowns.
The Mistakes of Complacent Attitudes (Judges 18)
1. Jesus made it clear that the Lord does not tolerate complacent attitudes when He said, "Whoever is not for me is against me." (Luke 11:23) We are either progressing in Christ or regressing. Are you growing in all aspects into Christ. (Eph. 4:15) Speaking the truth in love let us grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head , even Christ.
2. God wanted His people to do battle with their enemies, but the tribe of Dan refused to fight. The people of Dan preferred to live in peaceful coexistence with the enemies of God. Paul wrote, "Fight the good fight of faith." There are many battles that are worth engaging in for the Lord.
3. The Dan tribe had been excluded from an inheritance of land because they had not trusted God in driving out the Amorites. Because of their complacent attitudes, the Dan people had to live in the hills in two small villages. When we refused to stand up for our God, many of our privileges are taken away.
4. The Dan people chose to live in an easy place in the north of Israel, in a settlement colonized by the idol worshipping Phoenicians. God did not want His people mingling with the people of the world, but the leaders of Dan felt it was easier to compromise than to fight for God and His purpose. Paul wrote, "Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand in the evil day." (Ephesians 6) The Christian life is full of battles that must be fought everyday or we will be overcome by complacent attitudes.
5. The Dan leaders loved the life of ease. They believed in peace at any price. Eventually, the Dan people decided, "Why work when we can steal?" They took a shortcut in acquiring a priest to cover all their spiritual, social and cultural concerns. They became complacent in fulfilling their responsibilities to obey, worship and serve the Lord in sincerity and truth. Do not settle for second best or you will live to regret it.
6. The Dan people faced greater judgment from God because of their sins of omission than their sins of commission. They failed to complete the expectations and commandments of God. James writes, "For anyone who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for them it is sin."
7. The Dan people enjoyed short-term pleasures, but long term pain. Throughout history, the people of the Dan tribe are ignored. They intermarried with the Philistines. Their apathy led to their destruction. The complacency of fools will kill them.
8. The people of Dan did not take God’s will seriously and suffered the consequences. God’s order to drive out the Amorites and the promise of His blessings were ignored. They were not willing to pay the price of obedience. One professor said, "If you think education is expensive, just try ignorance – it costs much more!"
9. The leaders of Dan learned too late the truth of Proverbs 14:12 which says, "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." Do not trust your own insights.
10. The people of Dan learned that failure to be committed to God, His will and His people is a formula for disaster. The Lord wants us to love Him above all others for our good. He always has our best interests at heart. God is the only one who can give without adding any sorrows.
conclusion:Some years ago, musicians noted that errand boys in a certain part of London all whistled out of tune as they went about their work. It was talked about and someone suggested that it was because the bells of Westminster were slightly out of tune. Something had gone wrong with the chimes and they were discordant. The boys did not know there was anything wrong with the peals, and quite unconsciously they had copied their pitch.
So we tend to copy the people with whom we associate; we borrow thoughts from the books we read and the programs to which we listen, almost without knowing it. God has given us His Word which is the absolute pitch of life and living. If we learn to sing by it, we shall easily detect the false in all of the music of the world.
Donald Grey Barnhouse.