I never used to think living comfortably was a bad thing. I mean, we grow up going to school so we can go to college or get a better job, we work hard at our better job to earn money to pay for our better things, we invest so we can have a better retirement and not have to work so hard, etc, etc. But the more I think about it, living by faith and being comfortable don’t seem to go hand in hand. Now, don’t get me wrong: it is a good thing to work hard and live smart with what God has given us. But we can get so wrapped up in how comfortable we are in the here and now that it becomes our focus and not God.
Comfortability can even hold us back from living by faith.
I feel like that has been the case for me. At one point, we sold most of the things we owned, stored the rest and moved across an ocean. Leading up to our move I would often find myself not able to breathe when I thought about what it was we were about to do. One time I even had to go downstairs to one of my co-workers (handily a mental health therapist) and get help with just breathing.
Thinking about moving was scary! I loved my life, I loved my house, I loved my job, I loved being close to family, I loved the comfortability…. why would I ever want to move?
We felt God was calling us to something else.
Of course I had so many questions. What if we fail? What if it doesn’t work out? What if we can’t rent our house? What if we don’t like it? What if we get into financial trouble? The list goes on and on and on.
The moment we got into the room of our new place I balled. Literally. My husband didn’t know what to do with me. I missed my home. I missed my safety. I missed being comfortable.
Living in Denmark, I can still fight the urge to build up my own security net and make myself comfortable. I have to fight the urge to not worry if I don’t have the perfect home. Or if my daughter doesn’t have the perfect clothes (both of which have extremely high standards here). Then I think about the future and I don’t even want to list those worries!
The fact is: the more I try to build up, the more I’m not trusting God. Because if I have my life figured out, then I don’t need him. When I talk to people about whether or not they believe in God, many say that it is an irrelevant discussion. Even if God does exist, why seek him out?They don’t care because they don’t need him. It’s a pretty scary place to be in, if you ask me. I can respect people who have looked into it and decide he doesn’t exist. Ok, fine. But to think that there is a possibility that He does exist and feel no need to go further with it, just seems so overly confident. As if everything is figured out and under control, when so many things in life are not.
I don’t want this to turn into a rant about others thoughts on God. The point I’m trying to make is the more comfortable we make our lives, the less we reach out for God.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:6-10
One of our mentors recently told us that materialism is the cancer that will kill a person’s faith. I believe that (though I usually try not to focus on the negative). In this scripture, the part I try to internalize is about the gain. Godliness with contentment is great gain. That is something that is in my control! I can pursue godliness no matter what happens to me and contentment is always a choice.
It is always important to be wise with what we are given, but I hope I can be even wiser with my spiritual pursuits and contentment because that will stand the test of time.