Comfort Zones

This post is a direct result of a book that I've been reading lately. It's titled Do Hard Things; A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations. Now for a rather long time, I've had the sneaking suspicion that I shouldn't have to wait to be pushed out of my comfort zone and forced to come face-to-face with doing hard things. I should be willing to push myself, at God's bidding. I was right. I just didn't have the guts to do anything about it. Do Hard Things is changing that, hopefully for good.

Now, I do realize that comfort zones can be good things. For instance, you really shouldn't be comfortable entering a dark alley, alone and unarmed, with a serial murderer. Unless, of course, God told you to, in which case, you'd better. I'm talking about the comfort zones that hold you back. The comfort zones that keep you from witnessing, trying new things, or talking to people.

The new concept that has just hit me is this: Comfort zones are really just another term for selfishness. Think about it. If staying inside of your comfort zone keeps you from witnessing to someone, then what you're really saying is, "It's more important for me to be comfortable than for you to get saved." Yuck! What kind of a Christian has that attitude? Well, a lot of them, actually. Including me. So, I'll freely admit it. I'm a nasty, selfish, sinful person who has a tiny comfort zone that's really hard for me to step out of. But what happens when I rise to the challenge and do step out? Well, I can sum those experiences up in one word: AMAZING. The best times in my life are when I'm doing something I wasn't comfortable with, and discovering that it's actually fun.

Sometimes the challenges take the form of people. God tells me to take my relationship with someone to a deeper level by sharing personal experiences with them. Usually, that's someone I'm content with knowing very superficially, and I'd really be happy if I didn't know them at all. Or maybe it's a total stranger that I'm supposed to 'make talk' with. This may come as a shock to some of you, but it's actually not very easy for me to talk to strangers. OK, I'll give you a moment to recover from heart failure before I continue. ;-)

Another common way for me to expand my comfort zone is through challenging situations. I've never done this before, I do not want to do this! Why am I here? Why is the music so loud? Why are the people lifting their hands and dancing? Are they Charismatics? Yikes! (Yes, this used to actually be a problem for me. Not so much anymore). Often I come away from those experiences thinking, 'Whoa, that was awesome! When can we do that again?'

But I must say, stepping out of the comfort zone isn't always happiness and smooth sailing. Prepare to be rejected, rebuffed, and to look really, really stupid. But seriously, Jesus was rejected and rebuffed for us. Shouldn't we be willling to suffer the same for Him? This world's not our home, anyway. We're just doing all we can with the short time allowed us.

So, with all that said, when will I ever learn to let God take the reins and steer me out of my comfort zone? When will I just follow where I'm led? This is where the rubber meets the road. It's all well and good to sit here and type and issue challenges to other people, but what am I going to do?


  1. This is such an encouragement (and challenge!) to me, Janie. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thank you! And you're welcome! :-)

  3. It's nice to see a blog post that makes me feel more than just warm and fuzzy. It makes me want to examine my life, looking for the comfort zones that I have come to accept. It's time to tear some walls down! Thanks!

  4. You're welcome, Amy! Thanks so much for commenting. It's always encouraging for me to know that my blog posts are a challenge or a help to someone else. After all, that's what I'm here for as a Christian, right?

    The internet makes it really easy to reach people I've never even met, which is extremely exciting to me. BTW, I'm really looking forward to meeting you on the 19th!


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