I recently visited the beach that my family frequented when I was a child. I saw a house that I remember admiring as a little girl, which is now for sale. Part of me thinks how amazing it would be to live at the beach, in this beautiful home. Serene, tranquil sanctuary. But then the Spirit reminds me how detrimental that thought process is.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:19-24
Comfort does not lead to happiness, it leads to complacency. If I am comfortable here on earth, then my focus becomes about me, and my comfort. As comfort becomes my idol, as I continuously seek it, then I slowly become increasingly complacent until I cannot see past my own life. Suddenly those in need around me can cause me to turn my head and avoid acknowledgement.
Except, we don’t have to own a million dollar home on the beach to become complacent. Living in a first world nation makes it all too easy to live our rich lifestyles (Approximately 56% of the world’s population lives on $730/year or $2 a day so we are, in fact, rich in comparison), focusing on topics such as style trends, celebrities and latest electronic devices, turning our proverbial cheek to those in our own neighborhoods, our own country and around the world struggling to get through the day. In 2010, approximately 49 million Americans were living in food insecure households. In 2011, there were approximately 635,000 homeless people in America. Approximately 885 million people worldwide do not have access to clean and safe drinking water. According to the Christian Orphan Alliance, there is currently 153 million orphans worldwide.
We are called to find our comfort in Christ. The comfort we find in a delusional reality of riches is sedating and deadening. The comfort we find in Christ, and serving Him out of love to reach those in need, is enlivening and uplifting, not because it is easy but because it is worthwhile.