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Comfort VS. Contentment

Comfort, just the mention of the word relaxes the muscles and soothes the spirit. It is a balm to the weary soul. One popular online dictionary defines comfort as "A condition or feeling of pleasurable ease, well-being, and contentment."  Think of that comfortable outfit, your most comfortable chair, or just good ole' comfort food. Each helps us to relax and feel content.
 
But when does comfort become an obstacle? When does contentment create problems? It is when it is taken to the extreme, when it causes us to lose sight of the goal...or worse yet, becomes the goal itself. Someone once rightly noted that "too much of a good thing is...too much of a good thing."
 
The fact is, excess of any type can be dangerous. It can cause us to let down our guard, compromise our defenses, and cause us to become unproductive, ultimately endangering the very things that bring us comfort in the first place. I can't help but think about the scenes from the Disney movie WALL-E where all those morbidly obese characters are being shuttled around on their electric chairs while drinking their smoothies and geting massages. They are content but they have lost sight of the mission. They have lost their motivation. They have no purpose. They are merely occuppying time and space.
 
Now, some might argue that in Philippians 4:11 the Apostle Paul states that we should learn "in whatever state...to be content" (NKJV). And this is true but he is referring to trusting God when we are in need. This is not a license for inactivity or immibility within our Christian life.
 
For proper insight into the context of these words, one should go back to chapter three where Paul says "One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. " You see, Paul was motiviated to make a difference in the world he lived in and he wanted us to make a difference too. In fact, he expected it.
 
Left unckecked, comfort can become a harsh and demanding taskmaster often requiring much more than we would readily give. But this never happens all at once. It happens the same way you boil a frog. You start out low and slowly crank up the heat. The frog never realizes what hit him. He just drifts off into never land. This is often how Satan works in our lives. He makes us comfortable, leaves us alone, and slowly, ever so slowly, lulls us to sleep. 
 
In conclusion, let me challenge you to muster the courage and ambition to push back against the spirit of immobility in all areas of your life including your marriage, your familiy, your church, your carreer, and your nation. Reach out and take hold of God's best for you and your community. The best is yet to come.
 
"Jesus calls me; I must follow, Follow him today.
When his tender voice is pleading, How can I delay?
Follow, I will follow thee my lord, Follow every passing day.
My tomorrows are all known to Thee; Thou wilt lead me all the way."
(Follow, I Will Follow Thee - Howard Brown)

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