Is Christianity Merely Comforting?

I just don’t know how non-Christians do it. Live, that is. You would have to be a very strong person within yourself to not simply give up after your first heart break or death of someone close to you. So many difficulties I face I can only face because of the belief of God inside of me. Take the below image as an example. The same street photographed soon after the March 11 earthquake in Japan and then again in June after major clean-up:

Published in the Daily Mail, full article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2001984/Japan-tsunami-earthquake-Pictures-recovery-3-months-later.html

If this destruction had hit my street, and I did not believe in a loving God or in hope that came in the form of Jesus Christ, I would not clean it up. I would walk away. “What’s the use? Another tsunami/earthquake may come tomorrow. This is a hopeless situation if I’ve ever seen one and if everything I’ve worked for and toward can be demolished by ripples  under the earth completely beyond my control, why ever work for or toward anything again. I give up.”

This is why those without my faith amaze me. They have no comfort yet live on and even rebuild. I have comfort and seem to barely scrape by at times. As much as I hate this question, I must ask it: Is that all faith is? Believing so that we can pacify the crumbling world around us? I had a friend describe my Christianity to me that way once. And ever since, his words have haunted me. Christianity is a very comforting thought. It assures this life isn’t it. There’s more. It keeps going after so I don’t have to feel leveled by my everyday circumstances. It is often the desperate times that bring people to faith, isn’t it? When they need comfort most?

But for something so comfort-giving, Christianity is also incredibly uncomfortable. We are asked to do things like love people hard to love and forgive people who don’t deserve forgiveness, in our humble opinions. We’re to abstain from drunkenness, sex outside the confines of marriage, and fighting back. What’s so comfortable about that?

So the belief is comforting, but the maintaining of the belief? Not so much.

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6 thoughts on “Is Christianity Merely Comforting?

  1. Wow, I really needed to read this today…didn’t know I needed to examine “this side” of something, but it’s exactly what I needed.

    My predicament often lands the other way…BECAUSE I know there is something more and that this life is crapped out then I tend to not see the point sometimes.

    That makes no sense and I can’t really explain what I mean…well, probably because what I mean makes no sense…but I tend to hang so loosely to things because of this fallen world that I don’t move on as much as I should, I don’t create and believe and fortify for I have come to believe that no matter what is built here, we humans (me) will break it down anyways.

    Wow, I hadn’t really articulated that out of my mind till now, so I’m grateful you made me see that going on inside of me.

    I’m going to reread and reread this and really examine this side of a few things I am really struggling with.

    Thanks Andrea!! You changed my day today. 🙂

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  2. Makes me think of Lamentations 3:19-24

    I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’

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  3. If we only sought the Lord during the hard times… then yes, faith would be a coping mechanism. However, since we choose God on the top of the mountains as well as in the valleys it’s definitely not just comforting. Since we choose obedience over easy, like you said, nope, definitely not comforting.

    Katie

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  4. Asking if Christianity is merely comforting is like asking if love is merely comforting: That’s just one facet of a very intricately cut jewel.

    Yes, Christianity is a comfort. It’s also a sting and a fire. It’s a rage and a whisper. It’s unanswerable certainty and deep lingering doubt…

    Just like love. Funny, the Bible says God is love…

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