After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. John 13:12-14
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28
Like most twenty-somethings, when I graduated from college, I was living on a shoestring budget. Buying nice stuff was entirely out of the question. Luckily, people took pity on me and offered up their hand me downs. My parents graciously gave me the sofa that had spent many years in our living room. Even though it was a tattered mess, this piece of furniture did have one major thing going for it. As soon as your bottom hit a cushion, it would engulf you, and comfortably usher you off to dreamland. Many nights I'd fall asleep wrapped in its cocoon. To this day, it is the most comfortable sofa I've ever owned.
Comfortable couches are dangerous, especially for a college graduate looking for a job. The convenience of the coach didn't encourage me to do much of anything. To leave its comfort meant I'd have to put in a little effort and move, which was too much to ask when I had my feet kicked up watching football in my pajamas.
Our need for comfort is always at odds with our desire to change and make an impact. Settling for comfort enables priorities and convictions to remain unacted upon intentions. Change or comfort - those are our options, and one always wins out. Every day we live amongst the same tension. We struggle after one goal. It's a desire for comfort. We all pursue convenience to some degree and living in today's age; it is easy to experience. Everything we could ever want or desire is at our fingertips. Convenience is the ultimate value in our culture.
Many of us want nothing more than to be wrapped up in our cocoon of selfishness where no one or nothing gets in the way of our comfort. Whether we realize it or not, the desire for convenience can very quickly creep into the culture of PC3. The allure of comfort and convenience can cause us to lose sight of the mission before us. Instead of moving forward, we could be content with staying in neutral.
Our quest for convenience possesses the ability to cripple our relationships. When we are solely thinking about ourselves and our comfort, the needs of others isn't much of a concern. Engaging in relationships can be messy and time-consuming. Entering someone's world requires attention and effort. We can't genuinely engage others when our focus is on guarding our comfort. Being wrapped up in our world, we don't see the hurting and lost people around us.
We must step out of our comfort zones and engage a broken world. We cannot be bystanders or spectators. We cannot step back and hope someone else will step in. We cannot turn the other direction when we see people in need.
Instead of seeing relationships with others as an inconvenience, we must view each one as an opportunity to make Christ's love known through our actions and words. Our hearts must break for this lost and hurting world. Our comfortable walk won't produce this type of burden. Neither will a self-centered life focused solely on our needs.
As a church body, we have a responsibility to impact our world. This requires action from each one of us. Engaging in this movement will undoubtedly stretch us. The time has come to get off the couch.
What does Jesus want us to understand about our desire for comfort as it relates to the way we engage and serve others?
God, may I never grow comfortable in my pursuit of You. Rather than look out for my good, I hope my first thought would be to serve. Transform my heart so You can use me. Stretch me and mold me into Your image so that I can bring You glory. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.