Have you ever heard the phrase, “How convenient” used? I use it a lot, usually in a sarcastic term, like when I drop something and spill it all over the floor. Convenience is nice. It’s nice that the grocery store is less than 2 minutes away. It’s nice to have the theater just 3 minutes away. Internet access everywhere, 3G, smart phone, iPad, DirecTV (and the recording feature on that thing is awesomely convenient, especially when I know I’m going to miss my favorite TV shows), the Giants’ win in the Super Bowl, a comfy couch, the refrigerator, a deep freezer, two cars, a paycheck, light bulbs, and you can fill in the blank for the other many things that are convenient for us. It’s truly a marvel that we’ve come to have so many conveniences. Air conditioning is one that I wish I had during the summer months. But it sure is nice to have a wood burning fire place in the basement.
We’ve become reliant on these conveniences and can’t imagine life without them. Seriously, what would life be like without a cell phone? I mean, how else would anyone ever get ahold of you when you’re doing things that you don’t want to involve anyone else in or let them know about? Share one car, for real? Are you serious? And how could I possibly give up Facebook?! It’s my whole world! Get out of bed to go to church, are you crazy? I can just watch it over the internet in my bed! Why would I want to get up?
Convenience is overrated. Now we’re so dependent on these things that we’ve given up personal responsibility and believe some one else owes us. Self-interest is the word.
I’m reading Philippians now and I’ve made it to the end of chapter two. Paul is getting ready to send Timothy to the church in Philippi because Timothy shares Paul’s concern for the church, and he makes a statement about the other believers in that area that sounds pretty harsh. However, it leaves me wondering if I’m just like them.
For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.
Thanks, Paul. What a pick-me-up for the rest of us.
Let’s set the stage for this comment. Paul is Rome writing this letter. Rome is on the east side of the country. A trip to Philippi would mean having to sail around the boot of Italy. Sailing anywhere in those days wasn’t all that fun because it was based mostly on the wind. There were no motors other than raw man-power (slaves using oars) or wind to get them from one place to another. Trips like that take weeks or even months. It’s not exactly how you would want to spend a season in the year, but it could just take that long.
Here’s the point: what difference does it make when care about something? I would easily give up the time to go home to my wife and family, but what about taking a trip like that to encourage a church? The other believers wouldn’t give up the convenience of their location and settlement to do what was important to Jesus.
Here’s the application for you and me: Let’s ask ourselves, are our interests found in what Jesus values most? Or is our convenience more important to us? What if God calls us to something that we know would cause us to leave our convenience behind? Would we do it? Let’s take a test and find out. I’ve said it before, if we’re are willing, it’s a nice thought and completely meaningless. But if we actually do it, it’s meaningful and makes a difference. Let’s ask God to lead us toward a concern for His Kingdom. Pray. Whatever comes to mind first, do it regardless of it’s inconvenience. If it’s local missionary work, get involved. If it’s global, spend some time in prayer for guidance and begin to work toward the calling. If it’s serving in the church, call your church and ask how you can serve and be sure to tell them what area you’re thinking about. Let’s look out for the interest of Jesus Christ.