I value vacations. I would rather sit in a comforter than on a wooden bench. I like the feel of pulsating steams of water massaging my tired back in a hot sauna. Ah, yes, comfort can be a very good thing. Yet, comfort can also be a very dangerous thing. In the work of God, we can love our comfort a little too much if we are not careful. The result is a neglect of the Great Commission. A complacency about discipleship. An apathy toward worship.
The dangers of being spiritually, too comfortable are many. We can miss opportunities to experience God at work in and through our lives, if we get too comfortable. We can choose the easy, softer choices of life and neglect God’s invitation to grow in our faith. Being too comfortable can cause us to overlook the lost and disregard a brother or sister in need. The 39-year-old man maybe comfortable living in his parent’s basement playing video games all day, but if he wants to live a meaningful life of purpose, he needs to leave that comfort to embrace the challenges of life. In a similar way, we need to be challenged to leave the comfort of our current level of spiritual growth and usefulness, to begin pursuing the next.
Churches can also become too comfortable. We can get accustomed to the comfort of being a certain size as a church and forget that God has placed us in the middle of a real mission field of people who need to be reached. We would never put out a sign saying, “No New People Welcome Here,” but churches can still communicate that message in many subtle ways if they are too comfortable. Even in a Sunday School class or small group, we can delight in the people we have, to the neglect of the people we need to reach. After all, we have a nice comfortable feel to our class as it is. Why work on reaching someone new?
To overcome comfortableness, we need to remember that spiritual growth flourishes in discomfort. Discomfort caused Abraham to leave Ur and Moses to go back to Egypt. Discomfort allowed Joshua to face the challenges of Ai and Joseph to become the leader he needed to become to “save many people alive.” We need our discomfort to motivate us to strive for more.
We must remember that our purpose in life is to know and love God with all our being and to love people as Jesus loved people. That challenges us to dive deeper into His Word and prayer. That keeps us moving out of our comfort zone to touch lives we have never touched. The potential of our lives and the impact we can make by God’s grace will be diminished if we remain in a state of continual spiritual ease.
We must be reminded of the brevity of life if we are to overcome our comfortableness. All of us want to make a difference in this life. We want to leave a positive, spiritual mark on our family, our friends and our neighbors. No Christian wants to look back on their lives one day and see a series of wasted opportunities to influence others for Christ and grow closer to Him. Psalm 90 reminds us “to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Becoming too comfortable can be very unwise.
There is nothing wrong with having a lemonade under an umbrella on a beautiful beach. We all need time to pause, reflect and meditate. Times of rest are essential, but we also know that relaxation won’t pay the bills and advance us in life. Likewise, in our walk with God, we need to enjoy our seasons of blessings, but remember that life is too short to be comfortable in our complacency.