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We live in exciting times. Pretend the pandemic is over – and social, racial and political unrest is solved – and taxes and gas prices go back down – what we’re left with … are exciting times! I know this because pants stretch.
When I was a kid, the only pants that stretched were brightly colored sweatpants with elastic waistbands and elastic ankle bands. As a boy I was all about comfort. I would have worn those soft, stretchy sweatpants everywhere; to the playground, school, church … e v e r y w h e r e. My parents were less keen on this idea and so I also had stiff Bugle Boy jeans and some unforgiving khaki shorts (primarily for church in the summertime).
Today’s fashion utilizes modern fabrics and technology to give us things like 8-way flex Chinos and pajama jeans; clothes that both look fashionable and office appropriate with the added bonus that they feel like glorious sweatpants!
Like I said before: We live in exciting times!
But once you cross the line into comfortable fashion, you start to expect that level of maximum stretchiness in other aspects of life. You become flex-entitled.
A flex-entitled person expects comfort in all aspects of life. They complain when television shows are not released en masse. (Waiting is for someone with ill-fitting, non-stretchy pants.)
They don’t believe in the concept of constructive criticism – because ALL criticism makes them uncomfortable. (What sort of buttoned up jeans wearing jerk has the right to destroy my bliss?!)
The flex-entitled also tend to become more selective in the parts of the Bible they subscribe to. If something Jesus said doesn’t give them the warm-fuzzies, we’ll just say it is no longer culturally relevant.
And “sin” is a matter of perspective.
A Great Commission? Like a … job? Hard pass.
The world around us (exciting times!) caters to the flex-entitled. If you are comfortable, you don’t tend to make a ruckus – unless society wants you to ruckus, then you better change your profile pic and grab a picket sign. Flex-entitled folks don’t really know or care what God values – which is character. They’ve forfeited hard won character for immediate comfort. Once you’ve elevated your personal comfort to the idol-level, it’s pretty easy to fall prey to the rationalizations of the world system.
I confess: I am sometimes flex-entitled. You probably are too. It is hard to stay on a straight and narrow path when there are moving sidewalks (like at the airport) that are more fun to ride and everyone else is on them so you won’t feel so alone.
Ultimately, the kind of pants you like doesn’t matter, but the kind of person you are really, truly DOES. There’s a brilliant song on LifeSongs right now called Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly. It’s a message out of the Book of Micah. It’s the calling to a path that won’t feel like soft, cozy sweatpants.
Together, let’s guard our hearts and pursue Jesus before the comfort of this pajama jean-world.
“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.”
Colossians 2:8 NLT