The Gospel Of Comfort At All Costs

I just hung out the clothes. Outside my coastal home, it’s a blistering 30 degrees (86 fahrenheit) so I tried to get it done quickly so that I could go back into my air conditioned house and be comfortable.

Comfortable. It’s my primary concern in life. How will this make me feel? How can I minimize discomfort in my life by filling it with mod-com gadgets that distract me from reality?

Comfort is also my greatest defense against doing anything in life. I have never watched The Passion, why? Because it would make me uncomfortable.

I’ve never been to a war-torn country, I’ve never delivered aid, I avoid humanitarians sprouting information about their charities on my way to uni. Why? Because I don’t want to be uncomfortable.

I just want to live and let live and laugh as often as possible. I don’t want to know what’s happening in the world or in your life, because that would be uncomfortable.

And I don’t want to be controversial. So, that becomes my excuse for avoiding uncomfortable conversations about faith, failure and the future.

ImageBut I’ve noticed something: Jesus wasn’t comfortable – He was very controversial.

That seems to be something we’ve missed in our ‘keep-the-peace-keep-to-ourselves’ theology.

As Christians, we should be emulating Jesus. Would He be ashamed of our comfortable lives?

What would Jesus do? Would He:

Surround Himself with only those who agree with Him?

If Jesus joined a modern church, would He only keep company with those who agreed with Him on every theological issue? Would He silently judge those around Him who haven’t ‘got-it-together’, who don’t understand the intricacies of the Bible like He did? Or would He reach out to them and teach them?

If Jesus joined your church, would He congregate with the single guys and never talk to anyone else? Would He approve of compartmentalising ages, races, genders, intellects? Or would He be inclusive? Would His sermons only minister to those who are up-to-speed with their theology and have done the necessary study to understand?

Spend years at a college, learning and never sharing?

ImageWould Jesus lock Himself away from the world in fear that they ‘just wouldn’t understand’? Would He look for righteousness in the number of Scriptures His followers could recite in their original Greek or Hebrew?

Would He eat with, sleep at and only ever be with college graduates who can understand Him? Would He have in-jokes the world could not understand? Would He be afraid to go out into the world – because well, let’s be honest, we Christians act like the world will crucify us if we go out and be controversial!

Shy away from controversial topics?

ImageWould Jesus avoid talking about the things that make us uncomfortable? Would He only talk about the things we want to hear? Would He avoid the topics that divide us? Would He ‘agree to disagree’ with the world?

Would Jesus be content to sharing His identity 140 characters at a time? Would He conform to ‘tweetable theology’? Would He block your Facebook if you didn’t agree with Him? Or would He love you through your unbelief and teach you to understand the truth?

Look the part? Image

Would He encourage us to put up our facades, hide our vulnerability and pretend we’ve got it together? Isn’t that what the Bible said ‘whilst we had our lives together, and we blameless in His sight, then Jesus considered dying for us – but only the ones that looked good and dressed well’?

Would Jesus even be accepted in our churches?

If Jesus wouldn’t be comfortable with the way we’re living our lives, then why are we too uncomfortable to change anything?

I don’t know about you, but I’m not comfortable with being comfortable anymore,

Emma.

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