Wednesday, 26 December 2012

FROM COMFORT TO COMPLACENCY


If we fear God and follow His ways, we are promised blessings such as joy, pleasantness, peace, wealth and honour:

  • “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:11).
  • “Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3;17).
  • “Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honour and life” (Proverbs 22:4).
Obedience to God results in blessings, both tangible and intangible. These blessings enable the righteous to enjoy a certain measure of comfort.

However, there is a fine line separating comfort and complacency.

Try to picture this state of complacency which God denounces:

Woe to you who are complacent in Zion,
    and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria,
You lie on beds adorned with ivory
    and lounge on your couches.

You dine on choice lambs
    and fattened calves.

You strum away on your harps like David
    and improvise on musical instruments.

 You drink wine by the bowlful
    and use the finest lotions,
    but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.
(Amos:6:1,4-6).

In modern-day terms, this scenario might mean lounging in our living room, clutching a remote-control, ensconced on a sofa, engrossed in hi-tech entertainment oblivious to the needs of our brothers or family members.

Blessing or comfort is, in a sense, a double-edged sword. While we rejoice in the comfort that blessing brings, we also need to recognise that our innate tendency is to forget God when times are good. *

The history of God’s people is characterised by this recurring trend: The people sin, God judges them, they repent, they get blessed, they quickly forget God.

That’s why we need to constantly remember the faithfulness of God and be grateful for His blessing and provision:

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
    and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
(Psalm 77:11-12).

Sometimes God has to humble us and make us dependent on Him during good times. A thorn in the flesh kept Paul from being too elated over the abundance of revelations he experienced when he was caught up in heaven (2 Corinthians 12:7,9).

God may allow a curved ball to come into our lives if that is what is needed to keep us humble and dependent on Him. When facing trials, we tend to seek God for strength to endure, being weak in ourselves.

Let’s focus not so much on the blessings but on the Giver of all good things. And remember to be a channel of the abundant blessings we have received.

Let’s not be so comfortable in our blessings that we become complacent.

Footnote
*   Blessings are meant to be enjoyed. God is not a celestial killjoy (Ecclesiastes  5:18).


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