We go through stages in life. Depending on where we are at a given time, we are in one of four stages (Suggested by Noel Burch in the 1970s). They are: 1) Unconscious Incompetence, 2) Conscious Incompetence, 3) Conscious Competence, 4) Unconscious Competence. Let me explain…
Unconscious Incompetence is a child riding in a car seat who doesn’t understand he can’t drive. Conscious Incompetence is when the child in a car seat realizes he can’t drive. Conscious Competence is when the child one day drives… and is careful to drive safely. Unconscious Competence is when driving becomes second nature… we just do it. Unconscious Competence is the most dangerous of the four stages. Unconscious competence is why people text and drive… put on makeup while driving… and do other stupid things. They THINK they are able to drive AND (Add whatever you’d like).
So what is my point? Many Christians live in Unconscious Competence . They cruise through life because (In their mind) they have it all nailed down. Their theology is settled. Their walk with Christ is secure. Everything related to faith is in its proper place. They have no major issues to deal with. They have no worries. Life is good. They are blind to their Unconscious Competent situation and therein lies the danger.
1 Corinthians 10:12 Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.
Because they’re living an Unconsciously Competent Christian life, they get blindsided by something they didn’t expect (Satan is willing to wait years for a shot at destroying our faith). Because they haven’t “taken heed” or “paid much closer attention to what they had heard,” they don’t handle the situation well… and fall away. Jesus described this in Mark 4:16-17…
These are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the Word, immediately they fall away.
There is encouragement though and is found in Galatians 5:16-19, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” (Back to 5:16, paraphrased) “So walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh… you wont fall… you will be consciously competent in regard to Christ!”
Which stage are you living in? You won’t know unless you ask God to reveal it to you. Be careful… you might be living as an Unconsciously Competent Christian!
Shout out: Thanks Mikey!