So, here’s a brief idea that’s been floating around my head lately. In my last post, I talked about how uncomfortable it made me that I was comfortable with complacency. This still frustrates me (yet, I do not change the way I live…). However, this thought occurred to me: perhaps the reason we, as human beings, seek comfort, ease, and peace for ourselves is not simply because we are sinful, selfish beings. Perhaps it is because deep down inside, in the core of our beings, we are aware that things are not as they should be on this earth. People shouldn’t have to go without food. Children shouldn’t have to endure brutal labor. The elderly should not slowly lose their minds.
There is something wrong here. Something terribly wrong.
Sin is the problem. And it manifests itself in nature and in each of us.
Perhaps the reason we seek comfort is that our very distant ancestors (Adam and Eve) knew what it was to be in paradise, to not feel pain or weariness or unsatisfied hunger, to be in the presence of God and to be complete. Perhaps each of us longs to once again be in such a place, to be in a place without fear or uncertainty or hunger or discomfort. Perhaps we are all longing for a better world, a better life, a better existence. Perhaps what we are longing for is heaven…the coming of God’s kingdom to earth…earth restored…a second paradise, better than the first because we now know the hell God saves us from, at least in part. We helped to create it.
So perhaps we are unknowingly longing after heaven when we long for comfort, for ease, for peace. Perhaps. Or we may simply be wishing to fulfill our sinful natures through laziness, gluttony, and indifference…
But the problem I run into in this train of thought is that we are not called to live lives of comfort and ease. As followers of Christ, we are called to live sacrificially. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Taking up your cross is not comfortable. It is a struggle. It is difficult. It is counter-intuitive and not beneficial for life in this world. But our Lord commands it, and says anyone who will not take up his cross cannot be a disciple of Christ (Luke 14:27). So, it seems that a life of comfort and ease is not acceptable for followers of Jesus (just take a look at how the early believers lived and died – crucified, beaten, put in prison, and more, all because they loved Jesus and wouldn’t stop proclaiming the truth they knew).
Whether or not the desire for comfort and ease is a longing for heaven or a longing to fulfill sinful desires, I do not know. I do not think the longing/desire for comfort itself is sinful, as long as the longing does not lead to selfish actions or a selfish lifestyle. But I am not sure.
Seek first to bring the kingdom to earth, and God will provide your needs. (Matthew 6:25-34)