Detoxing is all the rage these days. People are detoxing from drugs, alcohol, social media, Diet Coke, gambling, sugar, digital devices, gluten, and holiday madness. Something about this life pushes us to self-soothe by over-using and over-indulging until unhealthy habits take over. Our hearts are ever seeking a comfort this world doesn’t seem to offer. We become obsessed with finding it . . . and with doing anything to keep it. A detox is needed if our hearts are to flourish as God intended.
My obsession with maintaining comfort has been highly problematic. If it’s self-serving, emotionally easy, physically safe, or somehow personally beneficial, I’m there. Worldly comfort has become my default. Comfort addiction is a battle for all of us, a subtle yet powerful part of the human condition.
It would be easy to blame our desire for comfort. If only we weren’t so needy, perhaps. But comfort isn’t the problem. God made us needy—created us to need him. He is the one our hearts truly need when we self-soothe with food, shopping, control, sex, isolation, and the like.
Our God is not anti-comfort. Rather, he calls us to put off pseudo comforts—those empty cisterns the prophet Jeremiah spoke of—to make room for true comfort, flowing straight from God, our Comforter. Detoxing from empty substitutes retrains our brains, hearts, and wills so that we turn to God instead.
Turning to the fountain of living water for comfort isn’t easy. I have lifelong habits to upend and autopilot decisions to reroute. Every time I turn to Jesus, however, his comfort is close at hand, and it never fails.
Erin Straza is the author of Comfort Detox: Finding Freedom from Habits That Bind You (InterVarsity Press). Learn more at ErinStraza.com. Adapted from Comfort Detox by Erin Straza. Copyright © 2017 by Erin Straza. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426. www.ivpress.com.
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