“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 1 Corinthians 10:12
Overconfidence and complacency account for a lot of the mistakes we make.
Have you ever watched a football match where one team is leading, in fact, dominating virtually every aspect of the game, even the scoreboard, but then halfway through or more the other team starts to gain momentum, until before the stronger team knows what happened, they’re the ones behind on the scoreboard with the clock winding down? That’s overconfidence and complacency.
We all do it. Whether we stop working as hard once we get the promotion at work we were fighting for or we stop treating our significant other with the same amount of love and respect once we’re married as we did when we were courting, it’s all overconfidence and complacency. And it puts us in the dangerous position of bad things being more likely to happen to us.
Not only are they more likely to happen, they’re more likely to happen without us seeing them coming, because our overconfidence and complacency blind us to what’s happening. They cause us to turn down our senses, putting our lives on autopilot or sleep mode. But the world around us continues to function at full speed, and it’s a hostile world.
Do we think the devil ever lets up in his attempts to seduce us away from God? We may think we’ve committed our lives to the Lord, so we’re done. We may think we’ve done some really good things in our lives, so we’re done. We may think we’ve structured our lives in the path of righteousness to the point that our feet couldn’t possibly stray from it, so we’re done.
We may think all that, until something happens and our eyes open to realize that we’ve fallen. The shock that comes with an unexpected fall can do more damage to our emotions than one we expect to happen, so that it’s that much more difficult to pick ourselves back up, forgive ourselves, learn from the mistake and go on.
To avoid becoming a victim to overconfidence and complacency, we must approach each day as if we have something to prove to God, the devil and ourselves. We must go out of our way to do good things for others. We must be on the lookout for temptations the devil sends our way, and we must hungrily read our bibles so that we are armed to deftly deflect those temptations when they come.
If we can do those things, we won’t just get on our feet in the posture of righteousness, we’ll stay on them.