America is accustomed to comfort. Russian-exiled prisoner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn commented in the late ‘70s that America was soft because the people were spoiled. He questioned whether we would have the moral resolve to stand up to the atheistic “evil empire” of the Soviets as they threatened world peace. Fortunately, we elected a strong president in 1980, actively opposed the communists and ended decades of oppression for millions of people.
|Our comfort can go up in flames at any time.|
Now we face similar challenges. As in the ‘70s, it is possible that terrorism will not be the ultimate culprit should the West collapse. The real Achilles’ heel may very well be our idolization of comfort. By this, I do not mean comfort in the sense of bringing peace of mind to those in distress. Scriptures refer to the Holy Spirit as the “comforter,” so there is certainly nothing wrong with comfort in the proper sense.
I am referring to comfort as a material substitute for conviction; a worldly opiate providing a false sense of security. Many Americans look to possessions, privilege and leisure to define comfort. We measure success by the state of the economy. We judge political parties and elected officials by whether or not they improve our economic status. We bow to the throne of the almighty dollar.
But terrorism endangers our economy. Rising gas prices threaten our pocketbooks. Illegal immigration raises questions about our security. If our standard is comfort, then we are in trouble. I am convinced that pressure will strengthen our character. If it takes economic pressure to get our attention—to get us to become one nation under God, with principles guiding our lives and our future—then it will likely happen. If we insist on making material gain our god, having no regard for moral values as long as we are monetarily strong, then our future is bleak.
America has been blessed and, as a result, has prospered. We are uniquely positioned in the world to alleviate suffering and help those in need more than any other nation in history. America – her people, corporations and government – has improved the lives of billions of people by exporting human rights, free trade and humanitarian aid. America consistently provides positive political, moral and economic leadership.
Yet at the same time, a dark underside thrives. Drug abuse creates a worldwide black market for narcotics, spawning all sorts of related crimes. The back alleys of Hollywood produce pornographic material that eats away at healthy relationships. Greedy companies exploit cheap labor, trapping hard-working people in poverty. High-powered, well-funded lobbyists buy influence in the halls of legislation. At the center of this paradox of good and evil lies a culture war whose winner will determine the America that stands up to the pressures of the next generation.
We must come to understand that there is more value in morals than money. People are more important than profits. Will the world view us as a nation controlled by lust for material gain or a people compelled to help those in need? Will we be perceived as given to passion or giving in compassion? If it takes the loss of material comfort to reshape our thinking and return to absolute principles, then perhaps that day is coming – and maybe very soon. I hope we will see a change of heart, a change of mind and a change of measure before we begin to buckle under such pressure.
Author: James Robison
Word Count: 570
About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE
Outreach International, an international humanitarian aid ministry; host
of the television program, Life
Today; and author of The Absolutes.
Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net
Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for
complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.