Normalcy Bias

The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:2 (NIV)

Want to learn a new term? Here it is. The term is Normalcy Bias. Normalcy Bias is the assumption that just as things have been in the recent past, so they will always be in the future.

Normalcy Bias is extremely common. We are all vulnerable to it and observers of human nature have said it can be one of the most dangerous biases we have. Normalcy Bias was a factor in causing the builders of the Titanic not to include enough lifeboats. And even after the Titanic struck the iceberg, Normalcy Bias prevented people from getting into the lifeboats. So powerful was the assumption that ocean liners could no longer sink.

When it comes to our relationship with God, Normalcy Bias can be a factor as well.

If I live my life without paying much attention to God and his Word; if I rack up day after week after year of going to work and coming home without any kind of shocking crisis, it can be easy for me to assume that this is how it will continue. This is life as it should be and that God is not important. Such an assumption on my part will work—until the day it doesn’t.

Through the apostle Paul, God’s Word says, “The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” God tells us this as a warning. But even this warning comes from a heart of supreme love. Throughout Scripture, the Lord’s call to us is urgent. “Listen, listen to me,” he says (Isaiah 55:2). “Seek the LORD while he may be found,” he says (Isaiah 55:6). “Now is the day of salvation,” he says (2 Corinthians 6:2).

The heart of love that puts out such an urgent call to you and me is the same heart that compelled God to become one of us in the person of Jesus Christ. It’s the same love that compelled him to carry our every sin to the cross and make full payment for all of them.

This is how passionate our Savior’s love is. He wants to shatter the deception of our Normalcy Bias. And he wants to replace it with the reality of sins forgiven through faith in him.

Lord Jesus, where I have a sinful Normalcy Bias in my relationship with you, open my eyes to the sinfulness and foolishness of my heart. Forgive me and embrace me in your grace. Amen.

Published by Living Hope Church

Living Hope is a WELS Lutheran Church located in Omaha, NE.