Sunday, January 12, 2014

Comfort or Contentment?

Recently I was in a girls’ locker room after watching a basketball game and saw a quote hanging up that I thought was very fitting for more than just sports!  The part that really stood out to me was, “Comfort is dangerous.  Contentment is essential.”  What a profound statement that reminds me of that elusive balance in life between being content with the life God has given us on the one hand yet not allowing ourselves to become too comfortable on the other hand.  This is something that I have been wrestling with for some time now and definitely don’t have it figured out, but it seems clear that the Bible calls us to contentment but not to a life of comfort.  So what is the difference between the two?  As I was pondering this question, I identified several parallels between them…

·         Comfort is an absence of challenges or pressures in life.  Contentment is the inner state of our heart regardless of the circumstances of life.

·         Comfort can exist without contentment.  Likewise, true contentment can exist apart from comfort.

·         Comfort can breed laziness, complacency, boredom, and ingratitude.  Contentment is motivating, stimulating, energizing, and tends toward thankfulness.

·         Comfort is what we naturally default to.  Contentment must be intentionally cultivated day by day.

·         Comfort can weaken us spiritually.  Contentment is an evidence of spiritual strength.

As we begin a new year, how can we cultivate true contentment in our lives, while fighting against our natural tendency to want to be comfortable?  We must start by looking to the One Who is Himself the source of true contentment, for He created us after all to be eternally satisfied in Him!  David writes in Psalm 63:5, “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.”  In Psalm 16:11, he says, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  True contentment comes from a right relationship with God and intimacy with Him.  We should never allow ourselves to become too comfortable with where we are at spiritually, but continue to diligently pursue the goal of knowing Him more fully!  This we do through the daily disciplines of prayer and Bible study.  The more we set aside our fleshly desires for comfort day by day in order to pursue God more earnestly, prioritizing prayer and His Word in our lives, the more truly satisfying we will find Him to be and the more true contentment we will experience.  As we seek Him and delight ourselves in Him, obedience to Him will often require us to do things that are outside of our comfort zone.  If we are willing to step out in obedience and do the hard things, we will be strengthened spiritually. 

Lord, show me how I can grow in the areas of prayer and Bible study this year!  Help me to discipline myself daily and invest the time and effort necessary to truly grow closer to You day by day!  Show me where I need to be willing to move out of my current comfort zone in order to be more fully obedient to You and grow stronger spiritually!

 “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.” (Ps. 63:1)

“My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death… I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:10-14).


  1. Great thoughts and comparison of contentment and comfort! It's a balance that only God can enable us to strike. Have a great week of classes!

  2. I needed these reminders today. Thanks, Sarah!