Story Excerpts

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Danger of Being Comfortable


A beautiful picture isn't it?  A real slice of heaven.


Photo by Grand Velas Riviera Maya


It makes me wish I was there, relaxing in one of those lawn chairs, soaking up the sun, enjoying the rhythmic ebb and flow of the ocean -- perhaps an umbrella drink in hand.  Sure, I'll take a vacation there.  Even better, maybe one day I'll have made enough money off my books that I can permanently retire to such a place.  (And every author said, "yeah, right".) It'd be wonderful. I'd have a beautiful house.  Maybe a couple of classic cars...  A convertible '65 Mustang, oh yeah!  The life O'Reilly.

Did you know that this is one of Satan's most successful attacks on the church today?  He dangles luxury, status, and pretty things in front of us, and whispers, "You need it.  Look what they have!  You can afford this.  You deserve it."  He knows that if we're occupied with worldly success and a comfortable lifestyle, we'll be distracted from the real reason we're here -- to know God's love and salvation, and to share the gospel and His love with others.  He knows what he's doing.  If he can get us to pursue "The American Dream" instead of God, we'll invest our resources in more comfort and luxury for ourselves, and neglect the Kingdom.

C.S. Lewis was right.


"Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is "finding his place in it", while really it is finding its place in him. (The Screwtape Letters", Letter 28)


Be careful.  A comfortable life isn't a sin, but it is dangerous.  It has the power to lull us to sleep and water down our faith.  We may find ourselves depending upon the tangible things of this world instead of God.  Perhaps even too attached to let go.  Remember the rich, young ruler.  He wanted to be right with God, but his wealth had sunk its claws into his very soul and held him captive. (Luke 18:18-25)

18 comments:

Lauren said...

Wow, this was excellent to hear right now, Gwendolyn! This is something I need to be reminded of more often. Thank you so much!

"Too attached to let go" - a chilling thought. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also...

Helen W said...

Wonderful post Gwen! And it's why God throws us trials and allows our "comfortableness" to be rocked - He loves us so much He wants to keep us :)

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Hi Lauren, I'm so glad this blessed you! We all need to be reminded every now and then. Love that verse!

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Thanks Helen! Yes, God does use trials to get our attention and purify our faith in Him. I love the way He loves us!

Rissi said...

As human beings, we all "want" things we either cannot have or do not need - as Lauren said, it is something we need to be reminded of. I don't think it is a sin if we do indulge ourselves by buying a new pair of shoes or something of the sort but we do need to keep our perspective.

Your scene does sound heavenly, Gwendolyn. =)

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Hi Rissi! No, it's not a sin to buy nice things and treat yourself once in awhile, and I hope I didn't give you the impression that I think so. But when you skip expensive brand names or say no to something you don't need in order to invest in missions or give to people in need, that is wisdom, and it pleases God.

Laura Frantz said...

Such a thoughtful post, Gwen. Love the Lewis quote - he has so many that are worth repeating:) We do need to root that bent toward prosperity and the easy, comfortable things right out when we feel it growing and gaining ground and supplanting what is really real. You've sure blessed me with this today. I needed the reminder!!

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Hey Laura! I agree, C.S. Lewis is a goldmine of food for thought! :-) I so want to read the Screwtape Letters, but haven't had the chance yet.

I'm so glad you were blessed by my blog post. I have to remind myself of our true goal often -- otherwise I start grumbling about what I feel entitled to... lol!

Loree Huebner said...

Outstanding post, Gwen. Sometimes the world sneaks up on us. We need to be reminded.

Great reminder for all of us.


Love the C.S. Lewis quote.

Gabrielle Meyer said...

Beautifully written and well thought out post! My husband and I were just talking about this yesterday. In our quest for things, status and power, we neglect the real reason we've been put on this Earth. Satan's lies are all too easy to believe and they leave our lives never satisfied, always looking for the next best thing. I love Matthew 6:33 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Hi Loree! Yes, its so easy to become attached to the things of this world. We need to be renewing our minds in the Word everyday.

I like the quote too. I found a bunch of wonderful quotes taken from the Screwtape Letters. I need to read that book. :-)

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Thanks Gabrielle! You've got it. The world will never satisfy us, and once we truly believe that, we'll be bad news for the devil.

I love that verse in Matthew! It tells us right there that if we put God first, He'll remember what we need and desire. :-)

Susan said...

So so so true. It can lure us in, can't it? I agree, it's wonderful to rest in such beautiful places, to relax and enjoy, but that desire should never replace God in our hearts.

That is a BEAUTIFUL picture though -and I'd love to claim one of those seats:)

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Hi Susan! Yes, our selfish desires are so sneaky. There's nothing wrong with enjoying the good things in life, but God must remain at the center of our heart's desire. :-)

I loved that picture too! It makes me think of the beach resorts I visited in the Philippines with my family so many years ago. :-)

Liara Covert said...

Attachment is indeed a curious thing. It is empowering to step outide the ego mind and watch it. Noticing your habits and patterns is revealing that you already begin to transcend them. Being the silent observer allows one to gain perspective from a new vantage point without judgement.

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Hi Liara, welcome! A well-meaning examination of one's selfish motivations/desires outside of the Word of God can only open the door to a greater deception. Only the Word of God can reveal truth and set people free. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your comment. :-)

Amy said...

Gwendolyn,
I've given you an award on my blog today. If you do not participate in blog awards, that's OK. Just know you are "A plus" in my book!

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Awww, thanks for thinking of me, Amy! You're encouragement blesses me. I'll head over and check it out. :-)

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