The “Closer” Challenge (Week Four – Tuesday)

CLOSER Challenge
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Week Four – Tuesday

“The Killer Convenience”

Recently, I made an observation about the shoes pictured below. They have given more than what should be expected for any pair of shoes. Up until a few weeks ago, I wore these shoes almost daily. It only takes a glance to realize they were in bad shape. They have functional issues. Holes in both of them. One has an air tube thats been deflated for a while. Not only are they not functional, they look terrible. The worst part, they were not even comfortable anymore. Certainly, I could afford to buy another pair. Nevertheless, I continued to wear them every day. Why? They were convenient.

I didn’t continue to wear them for the looks, the functionality, or the comfort, they were just super convenient. They slipped on without the need to tie them meaning even when my back was hurting and I couldn’t tie them, I could just slip these on without bending. They were available and I didn’t have to look for them. I wasn’t worried about what others thought, because for me they functioned and served a purpose. That is until one day I noticed that my feet were hurting. They were sore and it only seemed to grow worse with each passing day. It wasn’t until a conference in which I wore dress shoes for a few days that I realized my feet had stopped hurting and that the source of my pain was most likely those old shoes.

If we are not careful, we will let things go out of convenience. It may seem fine on the surface but, long term, it only does more damage. We will accept things that are unhealthy because it’s easy. From the simple things like eating and exercise to bigger things like relationships. We must stay diligent in making sure we are consistently investing rather than just maintaining. If you ask the early church, you would find living a life for Christ was anything but convenient. James said “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Given time, convenience and complacency can leave us in a dark place desperate for something to change. The pain it often brings can leave us with a negative view of the world around us and even a negative view of God. This is why Paul tells the Ephesians, “This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” We must be “careful how we live, making the most of every opportunity.”

The excuses are easy and they can leave us in unhealthy places with what seems like no way out. The good news is we can shift our mindset to be focused on God’s will for our life. We can put away the stinking and stagnant thinking that hardens our attitudes, and choose to live in the freedom Christ provides. Yes, work takes effort, but I’ve never finished a job and not looked back and been thankful I put in the work. What have you given to convenience? Whatever it may be, let’s take the road less traveled and put in the effort to make the changes needed. You will reap a great reward in the end.

Today’s Reading

Ephesians 5:1-33

Today’s Prayer

Father, forgive me for allowing my convenience to overshadow the calling you have placed upon my life. Help me to never back down from the challenge because it might not be easy, but instead remember that you will never ask me to go somewhere that you would not walk with me. Thank you for never leaving me where I am, but that you continue to call me to move deeper in my relationship with you. I know that any effort I make to move closer, will be fruitful. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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