If I can differentiate between the two, I can best correlate this to a MMA fighter.
Let me start with the easiest of the two to explain, which is COMPLACENCY.By definition,
* 1 : self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies <When it comes to safety, complacency can be dangerous.>
* 2 : an instance of usually unawareor uninformed self-satisfaction
Someone who is “complacent” is basically one who has no interest or motivation to learn more than what they already understand. The inability to make healthy adjustments in one’s fighting style to counter an opponents attacks.
Complacency is paralyzing. It is mostly related to fears and the simple fear of failure. Lack of faith maybe, but definitely a lack of internal or external motivation.
CONTENTMENT, however by definition is about peace. Possessing peace while you roll with the punches of life.
A MMA fighter’s “peace” is based on his or her’s diversity and the atmosphere they create in any situation.
You can be challenged by various opponents throughout life, but your confidence and peace is not determined by anything external, but internal.
A heart that is always open to learning and remains hungry and appreciative even if it is just the crumbs from that have fallen from the MMA Master’s table.
It is a way of life vs. a temporary emotion. It is what keeps us satisfied with our faith in God irregardless of what life brings.
It is NOT based on the fact that I will never know it all, but on the fact that there is so much more to learn.
To be willing to anticipate my fresh daily bread and to be content with it vs. me being complacent with eating yesterday’s week old bread.
To allow things to flow in our life freely vs. things building up and hoarding things in fear of a lack of supply upon life’s demand.
Furthermore, contentment is based on things internal while complacency is based on things external.
John 7:38 NIV
“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
Philippians 4:11-14 NLT
“11Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13For I can do everything through Christ,c who gives me strength. 14Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.”
Hebrews 13:5 NIV
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
1 Timothy 6:6-7 NIV
“6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”
Luke 12:15 NIV
“Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Proverbs 16:8 NLT
“Better to have little, with godliness, than to be rich and dishonest.”
Proverbs 28:6 NLT
“Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and rich.”
Ecclesiastes 3:13 NIV
“That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil–this is the gift of God.”
I then asked our brother Noah who is a MMA Instructor to give me his input on this short note:
“In full harmony with the talk I gave my students today.
I only wish to elaborate on one common reason people SAY they are content, but it’s obvious they aren’t when they judge. This could be judging success in socializing, finances, or spirituality.
We sometimes misuse the God given desire for stability. When we see someone do something we know we could’ve done, too, we desire to make sense of it.. often with excuse and criticism. It’s seems easier than correcting a false 12-year-old story.
As they say, game recognize game. This means that we recognize in others what we recognize in ourselves. So what stops us from acting? The answer is in one’s actions. When we criticise, it means we fear criticism. “The only reason you care about your failure is because you care what other people think about your failure.” – Gary Vaynerchuck.
Happy people are learning people. We desire new televisions, cars, phones, etc, but when it comes to changing our own person we meet with the fear that if I change something about me, it means I’m deficient. This happens, often, because we “braid” our concepts of identity over treating our knowledge like pillars.
If a support pillar is outdated, I can remove it and rebuild with little trouble. However, if I braided my concepts of identity, it’s a painful mess to unravel the whole thing to remove the weak strand of rope.
A great fighter has a tendency to see his skill sets individually, yet use them as one.
A fighter may tell you their striking may not be as good as there grappling. This doesn’t make them feel weak. If anything, it directs their game plan for where they want the fight to take place, range wise, and what to cultivate in training.
I got on a roll Ray Lol sorry it’s long. Use any/all, and God bless, my brother. 🙏”
-Noah Parkman, Mixed Martial Arts Instructor.
And on that note, on behalf of The Kingdom of God, brother Noah and myself, I close with an Amen.