Let's Go Back to the Bible

I Have Become Comfortably Numb

The song “Comfortably Numb” by the English band Pink Floyd was released in 1980 as a single with “Hey You” as the B Side. Roger Waters, the bassist for Pink Floyd, wrote the lyrics to the song in which he describes an event that took place at a concert in Philadelphia in 1977. He had a horrific stomachache due to nerves. A doctor gave him tranquilizers before the show to ease the pain. He said it was the longest two hours of his life because everything was slowed down and he could barely move his arms. The pain was numbed, but there was a disconnect from himself and the crowd. They continued to enjoy the show unaware of the situation on the stage. Waters was numbed to his emotions of playing before a large crowd, and the audience had been conditioned to like what they thought they heard.

In a similar fashion, there can be a numbing of our own emotion or awareness. Have you considered the dangers of comfort? We, as humans, are creatures that by nature seek comfort—in our clothing, homes, jobs, cars, and the list goes on. Comfort plays a role in everything we do. We avoid anything that would unhinge us from the comfort that we worked so hard to achieve. We scurry away from moments, events, or conversations that might be uncomfortable. We mark as a rare breed those that would live or talk outside the comfortable norms that we have established. We nestle into the solace of comfort and with great difficulty are we roosted from the path of greatest comfort. We have not so learned Christ (Eph. 4:20).

Our Lord was anything but comfortable. He had the uncomfortable conversations and teachings that others didn’t want to have (John 4; Matt. 5-7). He sought out those that were most uncomfortable to be around (Matt. 9:11-13). A great deal of His messages were to roust men from the comfortable error they had made for themselves (Matt. 23).

We can see from the work and lives of the apostles, disciples and early saints that life was not about the comforts. Paul listed his many trials as a servant for the message of the cross—how many of us would have endured such a list (2 Cor. 11:16-33)? We are called to a life of self-denial as His servants (Matt. 16:24). When Paul wrote to Timothy, he used three examples of what it means to serve Christ (2 Tim. 2:1-7)—the soldier, athlete, and farmer—none of which can survive, compete, or labor effectively in a comfortable environment. If we are not doing things we know we should because it’s too hard, too early, too awkward, or too much time, then we are too comfortable. We have been seduced into numbness by comfort. We are no longer pained by the lost world around us. We go on enjoying life unaware of the dangers to which we have become comfortably numb. Consider your comfort.