Comfort as an Obstacle

I've always considered myself to be blessed to be born in the United States. I've sat and pondered why I would be allowed to live here when so many others aren't.

I've also always considered myself blessed to be born in the time I was born. Thinking about some of the things that women have had to endure over the centuries...and some still horrifying. But I live in a place and time when women are relatively free. I can wear whatever I want whether it's a burka or a bikini. I can divorce my husband if I want to for any reason I see fit to. I can drive through the drive thru for dinner. I can choose a career. I can be whatever I want to be...including a man. 

Women have never been free-er. 

But I'm starting to wonder if all of this freedom and the state of American society is really the blessing I've always considered it to be. 

I think that because my life has been pretty comfortable, it's easy to be lukewarm and/or spiritually lethargic. It's easy to blur the lines between godly and worldly. It's easy to mistake the American Dream for following Jesus. It's easy to see corporate worship as a routine drudgery when the only obstacle to me being there is the voice in my head telling me I could just sleep in. 

It's easy to forget that all good things come from God when I'm working my behind off for a house and a pool. It's easy to forget that there are people in the world who can't even fathom a pool, they don't even know where their next meal is going to come from.  And it's easy to forget that life isn't about climbing the corporate ladder or the house I live in or the car I drive...or even that pool. 

The thing is, just like everything else in the world, this is not a new-to-us problem. The Israelites had a similar problem. 

Just as they were about to go into the Promised Land, God warned the Israelites to remember where He had brought them from and what He had done for them. He knew that once they got into the Promised Land that they would be so comfortable that they would be tempted to forget and turn to other gods. So He warned them to remember and to tell their children.

That's the thing, I have to constantly be reminded. All of this, my very existence is from God. Everything I have is from God. And most importantly, my salvation is from God. He plucked me out of the clutches of Satan and Hell and hid me in Christ.

In all of my comfort and all of my freedom, I cannot forget. The American Dream and any other aspect of this world isn't the context of my life. My job, my house and my family are all enveloped in the context of Christ. Jesus is the context. He is the source from which everything else flows. 

This life has it's challenges, just like any other. Because some things are easier, others are difficult and sometimes hard to spot. Comfort can become an addiction and an obstacle to living out and even recognizing Jesus Kingdom. When I value my comfort over my or someone else's's a problem.

Yes, I still feel blessed. I appreciate my life and the freedoms it affords me. But I also recognize my own propensity to take things for granted, to forget and to lose my way. God has been good to me and I'm thankful for the reminder!

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