How to Avoid Developing a Complex

close up photo of a condenser microphone

Not all complexity is bad. Complex wines are enjoyable enough. Complex math problems produce some very helpful tools. But we are not to be consumed with the complex, or taken captive by it as if it were always a good thing. A man enamored with the complex will soon find that he has a complex. He does not enjoy untangling knots, but rather enjoys being tangled up in them.

Take the Gnostics from Irenaeus’ day. They had their supreme god who sat atop a divine hierarchy of other gods, one of these lesser gods goes rogue and out pops a semi-divine ignorant being who forms the material world as we know it, and then goes to calling himself the real and only god. You read of these Gnostics and say, “How did you come up with this heavenly heretical chess board in the first place? The fact is, false doctrine can only get that complex when the guys making it up really want to sin. “Hmmmm,” the say, “if I run the equation that way, then voila! I can sin.” The Gnostics were known for luring away married women from their husbands. Their hearts were all tangled up and their doctrine followed.

So what about you? You may find yourself in relational knots, mental knots, emotional knots, or financial knots. Whatever the knot is, the way out is simple faith and obedience. God untangles the knot. To him belongs the secret things—the diagram of all of the moves that need to be made. Our job is to execute, to do the next good work that God has set in front of us. You can’t solve this math problem in your head. But you can take the step God has prepared for you. Daily, straight-forward obedience. Not easy, but simple enough.