Would it be safe to say that being a Christian has been difficult no matter what the era since Jesus’ death and resurrection? I believe it has. I believe that as an early twenty-first century American Christian, we battle our own comfort.
We have seemingly a lot more to lose than a Christ-follower of old, seeking his or her freedom from an oppressive government. We don’t want to give up our own luxury, our own comfort. We are in a comfortable prison.
I believe that the acquisition of wealth and the growing of a relationship with Christ doesn’t necessarily have to be mutually exclusive, but many times are. Especially with those who truly like to have money; those who don’t want that personal liberty to be taken from them. They don’t want to give up their riches. Not to family, not to government, and not to God. I believe those are the ones who need to part with their comfort the most. This is further supported in Mark 10:17-27, which you may know as the story of the rich young ruler. He would take every step to Jesus short of a willingness to give up his precious things.
I’m worried we are a country of rich young rulers, possessions being our Achilles’s Heel. And let me make this personal; I want money too. I want to raise a family, comfortably, and will work towards that goal. It’s almost a requirement as an American. The comfortable prison is nearly impossible to escape from if you’re already in it. Our love affair with money and possessions runs deep.
We love to toe the line between quality of life and idol worship of possessions. With each new car, better TV, bigger house, the heart is tested. I am a firm believer that God uses genuine Believers anywhere at anytime. I believe that it’s not a matter of when and where, but rather a matter of the heart that indicates how far-reaching one’s God-song carries. But once we reach the point where we live to acquire, we trade the works of the kingdom for that comfort that binds us.
It’s okay to be rich. It truly is, and I respect those who have achieved it through hard work and the correct motivations, but you are not to set your sights on a number affixed to a dollar sign. Instead, realize where God has placed you, and serve him. This is your objective as a Christian in life.