Your Creature Comforts—Do You Recognize the Warning Signs?
by Wayne Stiles
(Photo: Sunset over Joppa, where Jonah boarded a ship to flee from God.)
The blistering Texas highway winds reminded me of Jonah, the pouting prophet who sulked in the sun with a scorching wind on his head.
There’s nothing like losing your creature comforts to put a little perspective on our priorities.
Jonah Panics, then Prays, then Preaches, then Pouts
Jonah was no more excited to go tell an enemy about God than you or I would be, for the Assyrians ruthlessly butchered Jonah’s people.
We remember his story which began at Joppa.
- Jonah panicked—but God rescued him with the fish.
- Jonah prayed—and again, God commanded him to preach.
- Jonah preached—and what he feared would happen did. Nineveh repented God forgave them.
- Jonah pouted—and God taught him a lesson by taking away his shade and air-conditioning.
Finally, the Lord applied the lesson to Jonah:
“You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work, and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. And should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city?” —Jonah 4:10-11
Jonah’s creature comforts became a higher priority than people repenting and believing in God. Shade meant more than a whole city turning to the Lord!
We shake our heads at pitiful Jonah—until we realize he recorded his blunder for us (Romans 15:4).
This Isn’t about Jonah, You Know
I hate to admit it, but I often find myself more concerned with my creature comforts than with the gospel. Talk about misplaced priorities!
Here are a few warning signs that our creature comforts have replaced our priorities:
- When our hobbies replace our families.
- When our resting replaces our worshipping.
- When we sacrifice a strong relationship with God on the altar of “making a living.”
- When our priorities are to live comfortably rather than to live godly.
I thought about Jonah a lot that hot summer. I also thought about my priorities.
God’s solution for Jonah, who valued his creature comforts more than biblical priorities, was to turn off the air conditioning.
Question: What creature comforts tend to get in the way of your priorities?