This morning, I woke up to no electricity in the house. No hot water, no microwave, no toaster, no stove, no washing machine, no phone charger for my cell phone.
I was perturbed by the scant breakfast options and my inability to enjoy a hot bath. My dependence on electricity revealed afresh my so-called “need” for comfort.
I like convenience. I don’t like hassle. It’s as simple as that.
But do I worship comfort? Have I made convenience my idol?
I am embarrassed to realize that often, the answer is yes.
Perhaps some of you can relate.
Stop for a moment and consider which aspects of your daily routine are driven by convenience.
We are accustomed to convenience, and get miffed when it is denied us. Like when the electricity is cut off for an hour, or the drive-thru service at the bank is temporarily closed.
Sadly, we have built for ourselves a Kingdom of Comfort and have crowned ourselves Kings and Queens.
A quick flip through Scripture will reveal that the Word of God definitely does not place such a high value on comfort or convenience.
Instead, it makes statements like this: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me…” (Luke 9:23) and “…if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (1 Timothy 6:8).
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-convenience, nor am I anti-comfort. But I do think we should take a step back now and then to consider a few things.
- How can we, as disciples of Christ, deny ourselves more on a daily basis and put God and His people above our desire for comfort?
- How is our desire for convenience hindering us from blessing others?
Not long ago, I heard the testimony of a young mom who had recently given birth to her third child. This woman had an elderly neighbor who kept inviting the woman and her children over for afternoon tea.
The thought of having to keep the curious fingers of two toddlers away from all manner of breakable collectibles and trinkets in a widow’s sitting room was too much for this mom to bear.
Yet the elderly lady kept inviting her, and finally, she sucked in a deep breath, and went.
And guess what? Not only was the neighbor delighted to have children in her home, but the young mom was equally blessed by the widow’s company and wisdom.
Though it would’ve been much easier to stay home, this woman’s willingness to step out of her comfort zone proved to be mutually edifying for both parties.
On another occasion, a visitor to our church shared the lasting impression that was made when two members of the congregation offered to help her move. They could’ve stayed home that Saturday, curled up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book. But instead, they set aside their selfish desires and happily strapped on their serving boots.
How might the Holy Spirit be challenging you to step out of your comfort zone for the sake of the gospel?
- If you’re a mom and you feel like you’re in the car all day, maybe it means offering rides to a child on your son’s soccer team who comes from a non-Christian home. It may increase your gas bill and be out of your way — but consider the eternal impact that regular conversations graced with the love of Christ could have on a child.
- If you’re single and battling with loneliness, maybe it means starting a Christian book club with other ladies, to promote regular times of fellowship and encouragement.
- If you’re married without kids, maybe it means inviting another couple over for a meal. Hospitality can be a tremendous way to make an impact.
As we consider how we might drag our feet at the thought of stepping out of our comfort zones, let us be mindful of Paul’s wisdom in Philippians 2:3-4:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”