Comfort. It’s a cozy word that makes me think of cuddly blankets and fuzzy socks. Warmth, happiness.
Many people have a misconception that being a Christian means being comfortable. They think that Christians are always happy, and live on Easy Street. But really, being a Christian pretty much guarantees the opposite.
When I am truly living for Christ, I am uncomfortable watching television shows and movies that the rest of the world adores. I am uncomfortable telling certain jokes, or even hearing them. Being in the presence of gossips makes me squirm. So does knowing about the willful sins of others, who have no desire to stop.
Whoever said that “Christian” was synonymous with “comfort?” They were wrong.
I like comfort. So do you. It feels good, and right. I can come home at night, and rest my weary self by plopping on the couch, surfing, or watching TV, or something else mindless. But that makes me uncomfortable.
Because I know that I could be using that time to do other, better things. I could be writing a letter to the child I sponsor in Mexico. I could be composing a blog post or magazine article, touting the mission organization I saw at work in Kenya with my own eyes. I could be making a toy for a sick kid, or a blanket for a needy family. I could be serving dinner at the soup kitchen, or volunteering at the homeless shelter downtown.
But that isn’t comfortable, because that isn’t what everyone else is doing. They’re all watching prime time TV, updating their Facebook status or tweeting what they just ate for dinner.
That’s the problem.
We’ve become a society that seeks comfort above all else, at any cost. And believe me, there is a cost. Look around. Over half of the kids at my children’s elementary school qualify for free or reduced lunch because poverty is prevalent in our county. Tween and teenage girls in Africa are selling their bodies just to survive, because there are no jobs, and no families to support them because they’ve all died of AIDS. People in poverty-stricken areas are dying of infections that are easily cured here at home.
The cost of our society staying in its comfort zone means that children will go to bed hungry tonight. That a veteran will wander the streets, looking for somewhere he can sleep. That a teenager in desperate need of a role model will instead turn to drugs or a gang to feel accepted.
All the while, we’re clicking “like” on a ridiculous photo of a cat or texting our BFF the latest dirt on the new girl at work.
No, being a Christian isn’t comfortable. But sometimes being uncomfortable is the best place to be.