Tuesday, June 07, 2005

2 Corinthians 11:1-21

What comes to mind when you hear the word "comfort"?

For some, it may be the ability to acquire new things such as a luxurious car or a second home. For others, it may be enjoying an item already owned such as a favorite chair or a favorite pair of slippers. For yet others, it may be a special treat such as a nice massage or snuggling under a blanket next to the fireplace on a chilly day. However we may envision it, it is safe to say that comfort will be something over and above the bare necessities of life.

Generally speaking, there is nothing wrong with comfort but it can be a tricky thing. We need to be mindful of several tendencies associated with comfort.

As we become comfortable, we may tend to:

1. Upwardly redefine life’s essentials. Often, our current possessions become the new essentials. Naturally, this results in a corresponding increase of what constitutes a new, higher level of comfort. As that new level is attained, the essentials are again redefined as the cycle continues and we become distantly removed from the original essentials.

2 Become complacent. The drive and intensity with which we once worked is lost as we become accustomed to the comforts of life. The further removed we are from the bare necessities, the more likely we are to take them for granted and the less likely we are to be concerned with them.

3. Isolate ourselves from discomfort and/or those with only the bare necessities. In doing so, we save ourselves the uncomfortable reminder of either where we once were or what we could yet become.

The question then becomes "How comfortable are we in our spiritual lives?" Have we become too comfortable in our Christian walk? Like the Corinthians, are we looking for (or trying to become) super-apostles? Are we too complacent spiritually? Have we isolated ourselves from the essential message of the Gospel and those who have yet to hear it?

More importantly, if the answer to any of the above is "Yes," what will we do about it?

Mark Vereb

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