I think it’s generally true that people change when the pain associated with the status quo is greater than the pain associated with change. Whether the issue is weight loss, music in your church, finances or friendship, most of us only change when our current situation becomes painful enough to motivate change – and sometimes the pain has to be quite significant to provoke deep change.
The tension I see is that the culture we live in moves us to greater and greater personal comfort. We don’t have to get up to change a channel, change the music, and can drive in without an appointment to change the oil on our cars. We don’t even have to wait for dinner. Everything moves us (and our kids) into greater and greater comfort. Which leads me to my confession: I actually like comfort. Chances are you might to. I think our kids don’t mind it either.
And that makes serving difficult. There will be very little pain associated with the status quo of not serving. Face it: serving others is rarely convenient. It’s often expensive. It takes energy, time, effort and often money that we could spend on ourselves.
Which is why if I’m going to serve Christ and serve others, I need to make myself do it. I wish I was a good enough person to wake up every morning and want to serve others. But I find it’s more of a discipline – like working out or eating well. If I wait for the moment of spiritual maturity where serving others is automatic, I be very old when it arrives. Or dead.
How about you? Do you have to fight the status quo? What have you found effective in helping you make serving a priority? What has helped your family engage the tension of learning to serve?