A Counselor Reflects on Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
“In religion, as in war and everything else, comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth—only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair (p. 32).” Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
This may be one of the most “uncomfortable” posts in this series (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). But as uncomfortable as it may be, it is very true and insightful. How many lives are wrecked in the direct pursuit of comfort?
As you consider this question, reflect on the following life-dominating struggles which are by-in-large the direct pursuit of comfort in various forms: addictions of all kinds, pornography, pre-marital and extra-marital sex, codependency, isolation, denial, many outbursts of anger, coveting, daydreaming, fantasizing, laziness, lying, self-pity, etc… Brainstorm for a moment and consider what you would add to the list.
This was the message of the false prophets in the day of Jeremiah.
“They heal the wounds of my people lightly saying, ‘Peace, peace, when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:16 and 8:11)
Ultimately, when we succumb to this temptation we become like little children chasing a rainbow to capture the pot of gold. The rainbow is a product of moisture, light, and distance so the more we chase the further
it moves away. On top of the futility of our chasing the “pot of gold” it turns out to be fiction anyway.
Comfort is something that we have to be able to rest in. It must have longevity. Everything that we try to chase after for comfort is temporal. The mere fact that we are “making it” happen means that it will not protect or satisfy us. In that respect, are we really that different from our Old Testament predecessors?
“Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ear, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they make no sound with their throats. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.” Psalm 115:4-8
We have traded their figurines of protection for our dreams of comfort, but neither is rooted in a reality that provides any real hope.
To top it off, we have wrongly construed comfort as a collection of ideal circumstances rather than a Person, so we are chasing something as fictional as the leprechaun’s pot of gold. It is as if we were sent to search for “a ruler” and we missed the man in royal robes because we were consumed with finding a wooden stick with 12 incremental markings.
Let us not forget that comfort is a Person (The Holy Spirit) who is one with Truth (Jesus Christ).
“But the Helper [Comforter in KJV], the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all I have said to you .” (John 14:26; see also John 15:26, 16:7).
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)