Centered on Christ
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Centered on Christ

What is the Difference Between Contentment and Complacency?

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The Bible teaches that contentment is good while becoming complacent is bad.

Have you ever considered how thin the line is between contentment and complacency?


Contentment refers to being happy or having satisfaction in one’s current position while continuously improving to reach the long term goals and aspirations. A content person is usually grateful for the moment while striving towards making tomorrow better. — Toyin Adetoro

Contentment includes being satisfied with today — while constantly examining yourself to improve and grow tomorrow.

Contentment is satisfied with taking steps toward the goal today — while understanding that tomorrow will call for more steps toward the goal.

Paul mentioned how he had learned “to be content” no matter his situation in life (Philippians 4:11).

Christians are to conduct themselves “without covetousness” and are to “be content” with what they have (Hebrews 13:5).


Complacency refers to being satisfied with the current position even when seeing the need for improvement but not making much attempt to improve. Complacency often connotes laziness. A complacent person will often not put their best into any job or task; they put the minimum efforts. — Toyin Adetoro

Complacency is satisfied with where they are today — but puts no effort into trying to improve and grow tomorrow.

A content person is satisfied and puts forth great effort to move toward the goal. A complacent person is satisfied but puts forth little to no effort to move closer to the goal.

How you can be content without becoming complacent

Examining ourselves in light of the Scriptures is how we safeguard ourselves from becoming complacent.

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you are disqualified. (2 Corinthians 13:5)

A complacent person will look into the mirror of God’s Word and refuse to make the necessary changes. A content person will make changes.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22–25)

Are you examining your life regularly?

How you answer this question will determine whether or not you have grown complacent.



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Jameson Steward

Jameson Steward

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