The Attitude of Complacency – challenges from Pastor Evan Mawarire


This Flag

The first mark of a tragically wasted life is complacency. Pastor Evan Mawarire’s story challenges the lukewarm attitude of complacency among today’s Christian faithfuls. “Complacency is a blight that saps energy, dulls attitudes, and causes a drain on the brain. The first symptom is satisfaction with things as they are. The second is rejection of things as they might be. ‘Good enough’ becomes today’s watchword and tomorrow’s standard. Complacency makes people fear the unknown, mistrust the untried, and abhor the new. Like water, complacent people follow the easiest course — downhill. They draw false strength from looking back.”

In Amos 6:1, we find one of God’s “Woes”, and it is directed against His own people.  Surely, there is nothing wrong with relaxing at the right time and in the right place. But to be complacent when there is urgent work to be done is wrong, and this is a danger that faces us all. The complacency referred to here is an un-spiritual attitude.

In order to bring out the force of these words, compare Amos 6:1 with Isaiah 66:8 – “Woe to you who are complacent in Zion” and ”No sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children”. Both these statements are addressed to Zion, which in Scripture is always a picture of the Church of God. In other words, this passage is directed to God’s people and speaks of two possible conditions – being complacent or laboring.

For Christians this often reveals itself when we become satisfied avoiding evil, but not pursuing good. Psalm 1, tells us that “blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on His law he meditates day and night.”

Charles Spurgeon comments, “Perhaps some of you can claim a sort of negative purity, because you do not walk in the way of the ungodly; but let me ask you — is your delight in the law of God? Do you study God’s Word? Do you make it the man of your right hand, your best companion and hourly guide? If not, the blessing of Psalm 1 does not belong to you.”

This is important, because we’re often tempted to sign-up for a less “extreme” version of the Christian life. Instead of the Platinum “Jim Elliot” Membership, we like the sound of the Bronze “Joe Christian” Membership. Less benefits, but less effort. Sounds good, right? But Scripture doesn’t leave that option open to us.

Writes C.S. Lewis: “It is hard; but the sort of compromise we’re hankering after is harder — in fact, it is impossible. We are like eggs at present. And we cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”

In other words, we can’t just go on being ordinary, decent Christians, giving God part of our lives while holding back the rest. Either we are hatched and learn to fly or we are a dud that will soon start to stink.

The Lord does not slumber nor sleep. When Pastor Evan Mawarire was arrested for his  #‎ThisFlag movement  and campaign and was ordered to appear before a magistrate court,  the whole nation of Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans over the world swung into prayer and praises  went up to heaven turning Psalm 67:3 into reality. Glory literally came down. The female prosecutor – accusing Pastor Evan Mawarire started sweating in court on  cold July day in Zimbabwe. More than 1000 lawyers in Zimbabawe came to offer defense to Pastor Mawarire for free and the judge in the magistrate court had no choice but to acquit Pastor Mawarire just like Pilate said about Jesus, “I find no fault in him”.

Stand up, Stand Up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross. Where duty call or danger, be never wanting there. Now the life of this Zimbabwean pastor is in danger after he started a subversive protest movement. Pastor Evan Mawarire suddenly lost his temper at the state of his country and recorded the rant at his desk in Harare. The clip with him wearing the nation’s flag around his neck sparked a nationwide trend around the hashtag #ThisFlag.

The 39-year-old church leader posted the four minute video on his Facebook and said he was “shocked” when thousands of people started to share it. Now with hundreds of thousands of views, Mawarire’s rant caught the imagination of Zimbabwe’s frustrated population.

Mawarire confessed that he did not intend to cause any protest. He was just airing his views. “I’ll be honest with you, the day it happened was a really tough day for me. I was thinking of ways I could get more money for school fees, or I could borrow money, but it just wasn’t happening. I was packing to go home..”

Well, Mawarire challenges a number of complacent Christians who will quote all kinds of scriptures and remain in their seats pointing fingers at others but doing nothing bout the rote in their midst.

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