When the pursuit of comfort rules, don’t rock the boat becomes our decision filter. We choose to live in the way that will keep us dry, upright, and steady, figuratively speaking. Because we live in the Land of Comfort (otherwise known as the USA), this life is possible for most of us. While I am grateful for the affluence we enjoy here, it also buffers me from how the majority of the world lives. Now that I’ve seen extreme poverty with my own eyes, I don’t see my lifestyle the same. I am wealthy. I have running water, electricity, food, clothes, a car, work I adore, and more extras than I know how to organize. I have a wonderful family, great friends, a solid church.
My boat is steady, so to speak.
But there are many people who are living in rough waters. And I have been blessed to be a blessing, not so that I can wallow in it and hoard it for myself. To reach out to others in rough waters, I cannot let the allure of comfort hold me back. Helping others means that my comfort is likely to be compromised. This is the life Jesus calls us to: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13, ESV). I can’t follow my Lord’s example if I am choosing to protect my own life, my own comfort.
Author Jeff Goins explains it like this in his book with the marvelous title Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life:
“Some people say that a good reason to help the less fortunate is so you can feel better about yourself. Those people obviously have never lived among the poor, the destitute, the heartbroken. This idea that philanthropy is self-medication is not true. If you’re really helping someone in pain—if you’re really experiencing compassion—you can’t help but hurt, too.”
How does the allure of comfort keep you from follow the Lord? Does helping others in the rough waters scare you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.