We were discussing worship as a lifestyle this past week at the regular meeting of the church. There were a few things I didn’t like, namely the pastor’s talk of postmodernism (which is a normal conception in the Church in general even if it’s wrong) and linking comfort to worship. I have wrestled with going into detail on the normal “Christian” conception of postmodernism as a confusion with relativism and radical secularism, but that is not the focus of this post.
However, it is difficult to really try to draw any relation between one’s comfort and one’s worship of God. For instance, it would be nice to think that taking a less comfortable job (such as very low pay or living in a very undesirable location) means one is following God’s will better than if one chose the other. However, we have to look beyond the individual. Sure, if one has a posh salary, that person could spend it all on oneself. But, it also means the person could also have more resources to utilise in worship/ministry/missions/etc. Here’s an example: George makes just enough for his family of five to live (say $20K or £16k, depending on where he’s living) and he is living in the “poor” area of town. He is able to glorify God in his regular actions to his neighbours, coworkers, and friends. However, why is this any different if George is making an upper middle class salary ($65k or £40k)? So what if George moves into a middle-class neighbourhood? It’s more of a testimony to what God is doing in George’s life if, even though he makes a greater salary, he spends more in reaching out and supporting others (such as supporting some missions organisations, spending a month every year doing missions work himself in another country, etc). He’s still glorifying God, just now with more resources. In short, it’s easy to pray/worship/etc when in need (or just out of reach of it); it’s harder when not. It’s the exact opposite of “mountain-top experiences” where it’s easy to pray/worship when on a “spiritual high”, but it’s in the valleys where it counts.