Why You Should Avoid the Gospel of Comfort
It's a subtle killer of active faith.
We live in a time where comfort quickly can become an idol. Instant gratification is made easy with technology; we are constantly bombarded with ads and commercials that remind us how much better life could be if we just had more. The truth is, we all desire some level of comfort, but comfort also has the potential to slowly deteriorate our spiritual lives. And the scary part: We often don’t realize it.
Comfort is subtle.
Most of us know the story of David and Bathsheba: David impregnates another man’s wife and orders his soldiers to have the man killed. Although this is a story of infidelity, murder and repentance, it’s also a story of a king blinded by comfort. In 1 Kings 11:1, it says:
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
“But David remained in Jerusalem,” says it all. When David was supposed to be at war with all the other kings, leading his men, he decided to stay back. He got comfortable. He chose to stay in the comfort of his palace instead of being on the battlefield. And one day he found himself on the balcony staring, fantasizing about the bathing woman next door. Remember, it all started with a simple decision to stay back, a decision to be comfortable, but subtly, sin crept in his life.
This can often happen to us when we allow comfort to take precedence in our lives. Maybe it won’t be murder or infidelity, but it may very well be a powerless, stale, slowly deteriorating Christian life. And before we know it, we find ourselves asking, what am I really living for?
We forget about God.
When our lives get comfortable, we forget how desperately we need God. We begin to feel numb, soft and disconnected in our spiritual lives. Then we start to entertain the thought: Why rely on God when I have everything I want and need? Maybe that’s how David felt. He had won many battles for God, acquired wealth and earned the trust of a whole nation. He had blessings on blessings on blessings! Life was good, but somewhere along the way he became comfortable and drifted from God.
As Christians, the same thing can happen to us. We can focus so much on the blessings that we forget about the God that provided them. With God out of mind, we can begin to compromise our convictions. These compromises may start small, but can grow and spread into different areas of our lives. For David it started with a glance, which lead to adultery, then to murder. However, there is always hope if we decide to change and turn back to God as we see in David’s life.
Living to the full.
Living life to the full requires us to be uncomfortable. It means choosing to live a life that is only possible with God taking lead. It’s realizing that nothing on this earth will ever satisfy us or replace the joy, fulfillment and contentment we receive from God. The Bible constantly reminds us to be vigilant, sober-minded and alert because we can easily forget and slumber in our spiritual lives.
To avoid drifting with the waves of comfort, we must continue to examine our hearts and keep our eyes on Jesus. We must ask ourselves the hard questions:
Am I compromising my convictions in any areas of my life? Am I growing in my spiritual life or am in the same place I was last year? Is there anything in my life holding me back from being fully devoted to God and his work?
God always wants the best for us, but what’s best for us may not be what we want in the moment. We may want comfort and instant gratification, but God desires patience, faith and trust in Him.