Faith vs. Convenience

Written by Drew on July 5th, 2007

Americans are confusing faith with convenience. Many have already turned their backs on religion because it makes them uncomfortable, and those that remain are doing everything they can to make believing as effortless as possible. We hear about plush pews, innovative worship services, and drive-thru communion services. Church is no longer looking like, well, church. The growing sentiment is illustrated by a line that appeared in the Washington Post regarding its search for a new religion editor: “The ideal candidate is not necessarily religious nor an expert in religion.”

We are not the first to confuse faith and convenience. When Jesus was speaking with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, he told her he could give her “living water.” He continued saying, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (Jn. 4:10-14).

We know the Lord was speaking about the gospel. When the gospel is believed and obeyed, it reaps eternal life. But you can understand this principle only if you are searching for spiritual answers. Unfortunately, the Samaritan woman was not thinking on a spiritual plane when Jesus first encountered her. Notice what she said: “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water” (Jn. 4:15). She wasn’t looking for eternal life at the moment; she wanted Jesus to give her convenience, not faith.

Jesus was able to teach the Samaritan woman that there was more to life than convenience (see Jn. 4:16-30). If he could break through to a woman who had been through five broken marriages and who was about to enter into her sixth, we can make breakthroughs with people today. Don’t be discouraged if at first someone seems to be looking only for convenience. Deep down the soul knows what it needs.

At the same time, the Lord’s church cannot get caught up in the trend of exchanging convenience for faith. There is a vast difference between the two. One seeks comfort here on earth, only to find unrest in the world to come; the other may experience “inconveniences” now, but in the afterlife it rests for eternity. “There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God” (Heb. 4:9). Let’s not cheapen it in the name of convenience.

 

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