By now, your yearly goals or new year’s resolutions may have begun to make that fatal transition from a daily motivational compass to a mere “good idea” you dreamt up a couple months ago. The temptation toward complacency is a pervasive reality in our fallen world, but our temptation to grow complacent doesn’t have to win the battle every time. The key to overcoming this temptation is, first, recognizing its presence in our lives and second, making the decision to overcome opposition the way our Master Teacher demonstrated in the Scriptures.

In their book, Do Hard Things, the Harris brothers ask their readers to imagine complacency as if it were a person in our life.

Mr. Complacency would come up beside you… and then whisper smugness-inducing flattery like:


  • “People think you’re so great. Lucky you—you’ve got it made without even trying.”
  • “Everything is going just fine. Why accept a new challenge where you might fail?”
  • “You’re okay just the way you are. Why work to improve yourself?”
  • “Compared to some people—cough—you’re not that bad!”

Listen to Mr. Complacency long enough and he’ll convince you that what you really, really need is a nap.[1]

Any of this sound familiar to you? Me too!

So let’s decide today that next time we hear Mr. Complacency trying to convince us to let our goals run through our fingers like water, we’ll simply respond as our Lord did when He encountered temptation to take the easy road. Let us respond by wielding the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God (Eph. 6:17):

  • I will commit to the Lord whatever I do, and he will establish my plans. Prov.16:3
  • And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. Hab. 2:2-3
  • Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:13-14
  • So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Heb. 10:35-36


[1] Harris, Alex. Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations (p. 91). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.