If 2020 had an overall theme for the western Christian, it would be discomfort. From public health restrictions to racial justice movements, we have not been able to avoid discomfort. Instead of wasting more energy on trying to avoid discomfort, let’s full-on embrace it.
Embracing Godly Discomfort
When we think of discomfort, we usually begin to think of how to avoid it or how to alleviate it. However, let’s begin to press into Godly discomfort as an act of camaraderie with Christ.
Romans 8:17 – Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (NIV)
Whenever we run away from discomfort, we are actually choosing to be less like Jesus. Instead, let’s run towards discomfort and rest in it gladly.
Discomfort with Public Health Restrictions
Scripture repeatedly describes a person who doesn’t listen to wise counsel as a fool. Despite these valuable lessons from scripture, we are steadily disregarding experts and routinely ridiculing our loved ones to sooth our personal discomfort. Instead of behaving selfishly, let’s find ways to help those who really need help from a health-perspective. This could be as simple as delivering groceries to immunodeficient neighbors, online-tutoring kids who’ve been put on quarantine from school, or sending lunch to the coronavirus nurses at your local hospital.
Discomfort with Slow Economic Recovery
The economies in our local communities are hurting. Wall Street may be fine, but Main Street is on life-support. Many of us have lost jobs, taken pay cuts, or been placed on furlough. However, through these circumstances, we must remain grateful. The circumstances are certifiably bad, but our God is still a gloriously good God. He’s a God that provides for us even when we’ve almost given up.
Romans 5:3-4 – We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. (ESV)
Discomfort with Effects of Systemic Racism
This area of discomfort bears the most weight as its the one that will be with us for the longest. When the economy is back to normal and public health restrictions are a thing of the past, systemic racism will still be running rampant. Let’s no longer lie to ourselves and to God about deep-seated hate for races and ethnicities different than our own. And let’s even more importantly, examine our hearts about implicit actions that may perpetuate systemic racism. We have the power through Christ to end systemic racism, but it’ll take some discomfort to reach the proverbial promised land.