Saturday, January 25, 2014

Comfy Pants and Comfy Hearts

These are my comfy pants.  I love them.  They may be my favorite piece of clothing I've ever had.  Ever.  Because they are so special, I wear them only on days when I won't have to take them off.  I'd be depressed then.  Which explains the problem.  These pants make me lazy.

Pass by the window and see my neighbor outside.  Go talk to her?  No can do.  I'm wearing my comfy pants.

Think of an errand I really-really should do today.  No can do.  I'm wearing my comfy pants.

Go for a walk? Get some fresh air?  No can do.  I'm wearing my comfy pants.

That's part of the pleasure of the comfy pants.  I get to stay comfy when I wear them.  I'm totally pleased to excuse myself from any responsibility that would require me to change my pants.

Last Sunday, we taught the kiddos about Zephaniah.  Oh - boy.  I have a crush on those minor prophets.  And a couple of the majors, too... but my favorite verse in the whole Bible is in Zephaniah, so it's especially dear to my heart.  But as I studied the book again, a verse kind of kicked me in the you-know-what.  I love when God's word surprises you and the Holy Spirit shows you something new.

Zephaniah gives a warning to God's people:  your idolatry will be judged.  But for those times when we are too lazy to care about it, tucked in his message is another warning.

At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are complacent, those who say in their hearts, ‘The LORD will not do good, nor will he do ill.’  Zephaniah 1:12

Complacency.

The synonyms, according to Thesaurus.com are words like: 

confident, pleased, happy, satisfied, self-righteous, smug

Sounds like my comfy pants, actually.  And when I get down to the heart of the matter - well, it kind of sounds like my heart.  If I really-really believed that God was going to punish the people who did not belong to Him... if I really believed that God was going to save those who hold on to Jesus...  well...  wouldn't that change me?  Wouldn't the "comfy" idol of my heart be shattered? 

Recently I watched a Mother mother her child.  She went past the actions of her little guy - and got to the sinful root.  It took time.  It took patience.  She had to give of her mind and her emotions and her agenda for the moment.  It would have been easier to just say, "Stop it.".  It would have been easier to just ignore it.

This mom gets it.  She sees that her child's selfishness and pride and envy will be judged and she acts upon it.  With kindness and gentleness she invites him to repent and turn towards the Lord.
 
We think sin doesn't really matter.  It's not really a big deal.  We think it will take too much effort.  We're afraid of failure or that we will be viewed in a negative light.  We're afraid of feeling uncomfortable.  We're afraid of being the sin-police.  We call it personality, or a bad mood, or stress.  We avoid truth and stay as comfy as possible.  But, God judging us - well, that's part of who He is.

Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” - Jeremiah 9:23-24

To know the LORD...  We vote for the love.  We celebrate (most of the time) His righteousness.  But His justice?  Ahhh... that's too controversial.  Too unpopular.  Let's not think of that.  It is anti-comfy.

But if I were to know it about God - wouldn't that change my heart for the lost?  Wouldn't that change my heart for my Bible students, my family in Christ, my own sin?

I am really comfy with grace.  But, that grace has to reach into the ugly un-comfy parts of us.  And when you think about it - that's the real motivation.  It's what Zephaniah said.  Turn and repent!  God's going to save you!  That's the good news.  And it's so much better than any pair of comfy pants.




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