We all like to be comfortable. In fact, we spend thousands of dollars each year to ensure that we live comfortable lives. In our homes, we buy the best furniture that we can afford and replace it when it is no longer comfortable. We spend thousands installing, maintaining, and running air conditioners so that we feel comfortable indoors. We want to be comfortable in the vehicles that we drive so we pay handsomely for that privilege. We also want the most up-to-date and comfortable clothes that we can afford, which we update regularly (whether they’re worn-out or not).
We also want to be comfortable socially. Most of us don’t like conflict, so we try to avoid it altogether (even when it may be necessary). We don’t want to step on others toes, and so we might even bite our tongues or (Lord forbid) not mention Jesus to others who we think might become uncomfortable talking about Spiritual things. After all, we don’t want to be seen as narrow-minded or judgmental. We even want to be comfortable in worship: we want the speaker to say something that we like, we want to sing songs that we enjoy, and we even like the thermostat to be set at a comfortable level. Sometimes I wonder if we forget Who worship is really about.
In principle, being comfortable from time to time isn’t inherently bad. After all, it’s not a sin to have nice stuff, be stylish, or enjoy a worship service. However, Jesus did specifically teach that having riches makes it more difficult to get to heaven: “And Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:23-24 ESV) Contrast those words with the description of how Jesus lived during His time on earth: “And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’” (Luke 9:58)
Jesus didn’t live a comfortable life materialistically, financially, or socially. And He definitely didn’t live a comfortable life spiritually! It’s been said that “When God wants you to grow He makes you uncomfortable.” With that concept in mind, it begs the question: If we’re this comfortable, are we really growing?