Better and Easier Are Not Synonymous

Easy≠ Better

Did you know that Better and Easier are not the same thing? They are two different words with two separate meanings. What got me thinking about this was something my pastor said in church a couple of weeks ago– if you follow Christ, you would most definitely have a better life, although you wouldn’t be promised an easier life.

Let’s start with a few definitions from Dictionary.com–

Better–1. of superior quality or excellence;2. morally superior; more virtuous:3. of superior suitability, advisability, desirability, acceptableness, etc.; preferable

Easy–1. not hard to do : not difficult; 2. free from pain, trouble, or worry

I wonder if this culture of ease and instant gratification has led us to become a little confused about these two words as they relate to the Christian life?

We believe that easier is better and harder is worse.  And that may be true in some instances. But it’s certainly not true when discussing our salvation transformation and subsequent growth in Christ.

I remember having a conversation several years ago with someone about this topic. The conclusion that this woman had come to was that Christians could expect a better (i.e. easy) life after turning to Christ. She believed that the verses in the Bible that talk about the joy, blessing, and peace of the Christian life translated into the word “easier”.

I believe we have become so focused on immediate reward that we have lost sight of future gratification.Let’s examine a few real life examples of other ways we have fallen prey to this temptation–

 

Parenting first comes to mind. Many of us really struggle not giving in to our children’s every whim. We don’t want them to hate us or be mad at us and so we do the easy thing by giving in to their desires. But this choice does not lead to a better life for the parent or the child. This is definitely a case where easier is not better.

 

Food preparation also comes to mind. We want to eat healthy food but we do not want to take the time to prepare it. And so many of us have resorted to the easy use of prepared mixes, processed options, etc. But we are finding out more and more that this is certainly not the better way to take care of your body.

 

I wonder if we will ever be able to comprehend how large a part the change in technology has played in this thinking? We have gotten very used to fast internet speed, text messaging, and having GPS and cameras and calculators available at all times. Perhaps our smart phones have led us to expect –or even demand– instant gratification, making our lives easier and, oftentimes, better.

 

Whatever the reason, many of us have started equating these two words in our mind.

But if we study scripture we will see that they are not defined the same way.

I Peter 3 comes immediately to my mind, as does John 16:33. These passages talk about the trials and tribulations we should expect as believers. These trials do not sound easy to me.

And then we have passages that talk about the battles we will have with Satan (Ephesians 6:12; I Peter 5:8-9) and with our flesh (Galatians 5:17; Romans 7:21-25). Again, verses that make Christianity sound like a battleground. So if it’s not easy and it’s not {always} pleasant, how can it possibly be better?

That’s a great question. One that needs to be looked at from a spiritual perspective instead of a material, carnal one.

God has promised in His Word to–

Give us peace (Isaiah 2:3)

Give us joy (John 15:11)

Answer our prayers (Matthew 7:7-8)

To supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19)

But if we can step outside of our short-term, earthly view, and study scripture, we will find out that God’s peace comes in the midst of trials, joy is not dependent on our circumstances, our prayers are only answered if our hearts desire what the Father desires, and our needs are defined by God, not by us.

When we can start to view things with a spiritual perspective, we start to realize that easy does not always mean better. And, while a life lived for Jesus Christ, isn’t always easy, it is certainly always better.

 

 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: