Complacent Confession

I have a confession. It’s something I’m not proud of. I haven’t failed to be critical of others, but I have come to the conclusion that I’m the one with the problem. I have all these frustrations with our culture. I want to change the world. But, I’m not willing to change myself. I am complacent.

Complacency is defined as “a feeling of calm satisfaction with your own abilities or situation that prevents you from trying harder.” I’ve found that I’ve settled into the cycle of complacency and it’s something that has snuck up on me. I didn’t realize it’s a problem in my own life until just recently, when I was willing to admit it to myself through self-reflection. It’s something I easily point out in others, but this time I’ve realized that the only direction my finger can point right now is in my direction. It starts with me. So often I think, “Man. I just want people to get this,” or, “Wow, wouldn’t our world be better if everyone did that?” I see all these things I want to change in this world, yet find that I’m unwilling to change myself.

I find that as I sit in church on Sunday mornings, listening to the sermons and thinking to myself, “Okay, this is the week that things will change.” Yet, another week goes by and by the time Sunday comes around again, I realize I didn’t make the changes I was hoping I would. I hadn’t spent more time in prayer, I didn’t read my bible more and I didn’t have many meaningful conversations. I haven’t been willing to put in the work.

So often, I allow excuses override my desire to commit.

I recently read a book by Eugene Cho called Overrated. The main question on the cover asks; Are we more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world? I had to sit with this question. It’s challenged me to stop and think about what I’m actually doing. Eugene points out that our generation, according to statistics, shows more desire to make a difference than any other generation. Are we going to be the generation to reach this potential? Or are we an overrated one that is all talk and little to no action?

Through social media and the ability to connect with hundreds and thousands of people, we often think that we are making a larger impact than we actually are. We may retweet an article about injustice or post a Facebook status about how we volunteered at Feed My Starving Children. We do these things thinking it will make a difference. We do these things and feel like we did something good for the world. But is it truly requiring much sacrifice from us? Is it enough to make a difference? Or should we be doing more?

Now, I’m not saying that posting articles about social issues or going out into the community and volunteering is bad. In fact, I encourage those things. However, I believe it’s dangerous to just stop there and accept that as your one and only contribution. When Jesus calls us to follow him, he’s not asking for just something, he’s asking for everything. I’m preaching to myself here too because I’m realizing that there are areas in my life where I need to be sacrificing more. I need to be willing to commit more to God; to purse the passions and gifts that he has given me. I keep claiming the things I need to be doing more of, but then fail to follow through with doing them.

So, here is my confession to settling into this complacent culture. Feel free to hold me accountable to never settling and to pray for me to be motivated to work towards my calling.

Last year, someone prophesied that I was called to be the change this culture needs. God is calling me to step up and that I have a voice. It’s a long story that I will tell another time, but notice the words carefully. I’m called to be the change. Not promote the change, not talk about or write about the change. I need to be the change. It starts with the willingness and commitment to changing myself. So here’s my confession to being complacent and a public commitment to begin changing that.

Rethinking Singleness

Love seems to be the center of everything, doesn’t it?

“Love is all you need” according to everything. Society tells us that we need to be in a relationship in order to be happy. We need to get married and have a family in order to live a life to the fullest. Getting married and raising a family is something I would love to do someday if it is God’s plan for my life. However, I feel as though having that be the focus of my life at this age is not healthy.

In college, so many people are dating or on the hunt to “find the one.” People are settling into relationships that are unhealthy, but the thought of another breakup would be too devastating to go through. It’s also easy to encounter couples who have been together for so many years that they practically feel married. It doesn’t matter how unhappy they are, they feel as though they can’t move on from all those years. I’m surrounded by all sorts of relationships. Not all of them are bad, but not all of them are good. And what’s sad is that not many single people are content with the status of being single. Even Christians aren’t content with being single.

Do we forget that God is love?

Isn’t it weird that so many sermons are about marriage and relationships? Where are the single people preaching about how awesome it is to be fully in love with God, yet single? I feel like we don’t hear about the positives of being single enough. How many times do you hear singles moping around about the fact that nobody likes them and that they are never going to find someone who loves them? Why does that have to define the quality one’s life? It’s foolish to believe and hope that one relationship will fix everything one day.

I think that this focus is way off. You see, it’s not about finding the right person. Actually, it’s about becoming the right person! When we are single we can work on being the person that the person we’re looking for is looking for. When I went through this breakup, rather than letting it get me down and hating myself, it got me thinking. How easy it is to let one relationship mess with someone’s life. We have to choose whether we want it to make us or break us. I was believing lies about the necessity of being in a relationship. I realized that the single life is totally underestimated! Now, I’m not saying that I want to be single my entire life, but at the same time being single isn’t as bad and lonely as people make it out to be. I believe that this time in my life is unique and provides opportunities that I won’t always be able to have once I’m in a serious, committed relationship and or married. When you are single and independent it is a time to cherish rather than loathe! I think it’s time to rethink singleness.

For me, being single hasn’t been viewed as a positive thing until recently. I’ve dealt with low self-esteem and had very negative thoughts about my body image and appearance. I’ve hated myself to the point where sometimes I’d wish I wasn’t even alive. Sometimes I still have these thoughts come back to haunt me however, I’m learning to recognize them as lies.

In this time of my life, my happiness isn’t coming from the affirmation of some guy. But rather, it comes from the confidence in knowing that there is a God who loves me and is jealous for me and has a plan for my life. He is crazy about me. He always has been and always will be. So when I have those dark thoughts, I am able to fight the battles within myself by turning to Him and listening to the truth. My self worth does not come from whether or not I am in a relationship. For once in my life, I am finding self-worth and confidence in myself as a single individual. I can honestly say that I like being single and this is a good place for me to be. I’ve come a long way in my life. In this time, I’m choosing to focus on God. I’ve actually decided to give Him this year, as weird as that sounds. I made a commitment to God that I’m not going to date for an entire year. With the thoughts of other guys, it has been so distracting in my faith and so by taking myself “off the market” I have been able to rethink dating. The first couple months were spent getting over my ex, but now it’s shifting into the pursuit of my love for God. I’m investing my time in Him and have started falling in love with Him, for real! I’ve always loved Him, but I can’t say I’ve always been in love with Him.

I’m about three months into this commitment and it has been life-changing. When you are single, you have more freedom. I’m not saying that people in relationships have no freedom, however they have more of an emotional and time commitment. Now, with this freedom you can choose what you want to do with it. For instance, because I am single I have the ability to leave the country for four months without the stress of having a long-distance relationship to worry about. Right now nothing is holding me back from this adventure ahead of me.

Also, I have more time to focus on myself. Like what I said earlier, I am working on becoming the right person; a better person. I can focus on myself not in a selfish way but in a necessary way. I have learned some things about myself and have been also seeing areas in my life that I need to be working on. I have also seen guys in a different way. Rather than seeing a guy as a someone I would potentially date or my “future husband”, I see them as a friend, a brother, or just a normal person.

My standards have gone up as well. Because of being hurt by guys in the past, I have put an emphasis on getting to know someone really well and building a quality friendship before starting a relationship with a guy. I know that it’s going to take awhile before I can trust another guy again. There are some other personal standards that I am reevaluating and sticking to, but all I can say is that the next guy I date has a lot to live up to.

Taking myself “off of the market”, viewing guys differently and re-evaluating my standards have made me excited for the future and optimistic. Because I am building this confidence in being single and setting my standards high, I can be confident that I won’t settle for just any relationship and in the midst of being single I can truly be happy. Even if it is for a lifetime of singleness, it’s a beautiful thing to know that I am loved and that will never change.