Thursday, May 06, 2010

The high price of comfort

What do you say to someone with depression or suffering poverty or just not satisfied in this world? Pray more? Read your bible more? Do more christian activities? Ignore those uncomfortable questions and pretend that everything is ok so that church looks good? Pray that God will restore their personal comforts of christian living? Larry Crabb writing in his book "Inside out" says:

 "This kind of response turns church into a country club offering its benefits to those who are fortunate enough and well mannered enough to qualify for membership. We sit Sunday after Sunday enjoying fellowship of others who are comfortable and committed while the broken hearted and poor press their noses against the window, looking in at us with resentment, envy and despair...."

What did Jesus promise when He said that we are to come to him all who thirsty? And I think all of us are thirsty. But what did Jesus promise to give us when we come to Him? Crabb continues with questions:

"Did He promise to bring us comfort through enjoyable relationships, rewarding careers and pleasurable activities - providing of course that we honor some level of commitment to Him? Or is the abundant life of bubbling springs a very different matter? Is it possible to have absolutely no rich communication with your husband, yet still taste those cool waters? Can a parent whose young adult son is far from the Lord know something real about peace and rest?"

I think perhaps the point is what are we satisfied in? Is our christian life about obtaining a comfortable christian life where there is no sadness, no trials, no suffering, no yearning, no groaning pains for this world. But instead a static existance of pleasure overflowing with more striving for pleasure. Perhaps there is a high price that you have to pay, so that in the place of a rich relationship with God, we instead have a rich relationship with the next best thing, the next best job - the striving to be better. This will leave us empty and hollow.

Perhaps its better to be poor in material things and going through the hard trials of suffering allowing you to cling to Jesus and therefore have a rich, satsifying relationship with Him. Where everyday is about Him and everyday you walk with Him without the worry that modern life throws at you. I am not secure in my job or my mortgage...but in Jesus. I am satisfied in Him. He is my bubbling spring. Church is therefore about the broken and being honest about it. Its about uniting in Christ and thirsting for Him.

1 comment:

Scott Thomson said...

James 1:2-3 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."

I always find it such a challenge, first the thought of not just putting up with hardship but actually considering it joy, and then the fact that the image I project shouldn't be that of a 'perfect' Christian but a suffering messed-up person who finds identity, hope and joy in Jesus.

Good post!