"If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair." --CS Lewis
That's worth pondering! We established early on that many of the ways humans attempt to find comfort may be self-destructive and counterfeit. These methods may offer temporary relief and distraction, but in the end, they do not deliver comfort.
For Christians, finding lasting comfort under trial and tribulation, when we misstep, when we are in need of healing, and when we grieve will only come first when we seek Truth.
What does this mean?
Well, I think this means that in the midst of our quest for comfort, we must recognize the Truth and hold tightly to it. We would do well to critically and carefully analyze our thought life.
Is our inner dialogue reflective of the Truth of God's Word, His character,
Or are we believing toxic lies about our situation? Do our actions reflect our deep trust in the Lord or are we grappling to be self-sufficient with an "I got this, Lord. Let me handle it" attitude? Do we find ourselves naturally gravitating toward self-focus and self-pity when times are hard?
Let me give a personal example. I have dealt with a deep root of rejection in my life. (If you have ever been a people-pleaser, high achiever, goal getter, controller, out-of-balance workaholic, always trying to prove yourself....maybe you can relate.) [Geesh! Where is Rico when I need him?!]
Just recently, I felt the sting of rejection from a friend. Thankfully and with God's help, I have learned to be quick to recognize my thoughts and stay finely in tune with my feelings and emotions so that I can catch the lies and isolate my toxic thinking.
Of course, in these moments, I want relief. I want comfort. I want to escape my feelings and conclusions because they are painful to my soul. Did someone say chocolate ice cream? Netflix?
And this is what I think the CS Lewis quote is suggesting. If we search for comfort without vetting our quest through Truth, we won't find it. We often end up much worse than when we started.
It's no wonder we can find ourselves in a cycle of sin and addiction or in a loop of discomfort looking for quick-fix comfort which only leads to more discomfort. And for some, it leads to despair.
But there is hope.
If we start from the vantage point of Truth, and we stay in the Truth, we might find comfort when we...
If we do these types of Truth seeking action items, we may notice that our thoughts, feelings, and emotions will follow suit. We may feel revived, joyful, healed, with renewed hope and deeply, deeply thankful.
So when we find ourselves searching for comfort, may we back up just a bit to make sure that if we want a comfort that lasts, our search must begin with Truth. And fortunately, this Truth is not hard to find!
The LORD is near to all who call on him,
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