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The cost of comfort

We’re all faced with a lot of temptations to cheat in our lives. Don’t cheat on your spouse, don’t cheat on your business partner and don’t cheat on your taxes. But there’s a less-obvious kind of cheating that will hound you to your grave. It has to do with cheating yourself. Cheating on your…
By Seth Barnes

We’re all faced with a lot of temptations to cheat in our lives. Don’t
cheat on your spouse, don’t cheat on your business partner and
don’t cheat on your taxes.

But there’s a less-obvious kind of cheating that will hound you to
your grave. It has to do with cheating yourself. Cheating on your
destiny. Taking a safe, comfortable route when what God made you for was
a purpose. As George Allen said, “Each of us has been put on earth
with the ability to do something well. We cheat ourselves and the world
if we don’t use that ability.”

Our society wants us to compromise on our
purpose, to make comfort our goal. Life in America is set up to meet your needs. We tell you what they are
early on. You are reminded of them through a thousand commercials. Your
hunger, your need to be entertained, your need to look good.

You’re free to do almost anything. As a college student, I loved the
freedom of dorm life. I loved being free to hang out at coffee shops. I
started a business as a freshman because I was free.

But as I grew older, I ran across a passage in Scripture – Isaiah 58. In
that chapter, God is making a plea for someone to take care of the
poor, the oppressed and the needy. It’s a passage that cried out to me
and demanded action.
 
It was 1980; I was in my senior year in college. Over in Cambodia,
genocide was taking place. Two million people were being slaughtered.  And
God was calling me to leave my friends behind to help care for the
tidal wave of refugees spilling into Thailand.

To do that, I had to resist the temptation to do what was normal, what
was expected of me. God was saying to me, “Here’s your purpose, I want
you to care for the poor and oppressed. But just realize, it will cost
you your comfort.” Isaiah 58 asks us to touch
the poor and oppressed in the world, to do for them what they can’t do for themselves.

 
It’s so easy to confuse
success with a life well-lived. As Erma Bombeck said, “Don’t confuse
fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.”

We have a fundamental problem. We live in a risk-averse culture,
but we serve a Lord who continually asked his disciples to take big
risks and to set aside their comfort. How will you respond to that call?

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