Uncomfortable (S1) - Day 1

John 12:25
"Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity"

C. S. Lewis once said, “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”

This first text lays out the dilemma that we have as Christians. Christianity is a religion and faith system full of paradoxes. Give your life, and you will gain it, first being last, and all that type of thing. It is confusing, exhilarating, and doesn’t always make sense. The one thing that we can depend on Christianity to be is uncomfortable. And I think this is the way that Jesus conceived it to be. He was never comfortable. Never laying his head in the same place for too long, never sitting, always moving, always healing, always challenging, always making others angry, constantly ducking those who would seek to do him harm. His ministry was not a ministry of comfort; it was the opposite.

Humans seek comfort in so many ways. Whoever figured out fire quickly realized that things were better warm than cold, and from there began the search for comfort. Should it surprise us that Jesus seemed to eschew any comfort? Even eating with his friends, he took the time to get on his knees and serve them by washing their feet.

We all know that person who loves to do triathlons. Those people are comfortable with discomfort. Especially those who do Ironman triathlons! They are beasts who like the feeling of exhaustion, sweatiness, tiredness, and pushing through. While they will take comfort when the race is done, it doesn’t take too long before they are out on the road, in the ocean, or on the bike, pushing themselves to a place of discomfort again and again.

Why do they do this? Do they do it because they believe it is healthy because there are limits on what our bodies can take? No, they do this because they love the feeling of accomplishment and pushing through hardship. Being uncomfortable becomes comfortable to them after a bit of time. And we should take a lesson from all of this.

While following Jesus should give us peace, it should provide us with peace that also gives us discomfort. (Phil. 4:6-A peace that passes all understanding) We should be content, hopeful, and full of grace, yet bothered, anxious, and constantly on the move. We are given peace and an understanding about our worth and identity that should make us feel so incredibly safe and content, while at the same time, we are urged to “go into all the world,” which might be the most uncomfortable thing we can think of doing.

In this paradox of comfort/discomfort, we find ourselves most of all. And perhaps this is just what Jesus wanted to happen for us. I think about how Jesus preached the kingdom of God and the gospel. He rarely answered questions, and his sermons were full of doublespeak and confusing metaphors. He was a myriad of contradictions, yet he was also the easiest person to love and follow.

Uncomfortable yet?

Good. . .

When are you the most comfortable?
When are you the most uncomfortable?
How is your faith? Comfortable or uncomfortable?
What should you do if your faith becomes too comfortable?
What is wrong with comfort?

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