Pastor John E. Russell
Senior Pastor
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Our Comfort Zone

Do you remember the first time you did something that was very important to you? You wanted to make a good impression, but the whole time you felt like you just weren't doing it as well as you knew you could. You probably had sweaty armpits, maybe a dry mouth, and probably gave a few wrong answers, at least it sure seemed like you did. You couldn't wait until this trial by fire was over even though it's likely no one else perceived it quite as badly as you did. You just stepped out of your "Comfort Zone."

Here is an interesting definition of Comfort Zone:
The comfort zone is a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk. A comfort zone is a type of mental conditioning that causes a person to create and operate within mental boundaries. Such boundaries create an unfounded sense of security. Like inertia, a person who has established a comfort zone in a particular axis of his or her life, will tend to stay within that zone without stepping outside of it.

Take a look at the built-in barriers found in this definition of a comfort zone:
  • Limited set of behaviors
  • Steady level
  • No sense of risk
  • Mental boundaries
  • False sense of security
  • Inertia
  • No stepping out of the box

I don't know about you, but this doesn't strike me as a very adventurous or exciting life. I like to experience what life has to offer, don't you?

The definition goes on to say:
To step outside of a comfort zone, the person must experiment with new and different behaviors, and then experience the new and different responses that then occur within the environment.
Now that sounds like living!

What can help us step out of our comfort zone? At one time or another or in one situation or another, I know we all will probably find ourselves trapped in this comfort-zone prison.

The answer, of course, is God! God didn't create us to be boxed in by fear, doubt, discouragement, shyness, or whatever. He came to set us free. His Word has given us a powerful antidote to the comfort-zone blues.
2 Corinthians 9:8:
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Mark 10:27:
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Philippians 4:13:
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Acts 1:8:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you...

2 Timothy 1:7:
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
Somehow I get the impression that God didn't want us to be boxed in by our comfort zones. Instead, He wants us to learn to trust Him more and more all the time.

How often do you find yourself stepping out into an uncomfortable area that is just not you to do something for God? Our human wisdom - our normal rational minds - will hardly ever push us to do something that we think is not possible or that will make us too uncomfortable. But, if we put our trust in God, all things are possible. And this is where God can really move, and then His blessings can begin to flow.
Jeremiah 17:7:
But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.
If we want to progress as Christians - if we want to be used by God - we’re going to have to trust God at every stage of our growth. To grow, we have to step into the unknown, and this is where we will have to put our trust in God. This is where we will then see the Lord’s provisions. This is where we can then be led by God’s Holy Spirit.

If we want to increase our trust in God, then sometimes we have to put ourselves in a position where we have no other choice but to trust Him. Then we’ll have to step out of our comfort zone - and that's when we'll really begin to see God move in our lives!

I have an idea. Let's say this comfort zone is a can. Instead of letting it box us in (or "can" us in), let's use it to play a game. It's an old game called "Kick The Can." Let's see how far ahead you can kick it.

Once you start kicking the can, I think you'll catch on and keep kicking that thing until it's so far ahead that the comfort zone won't be able to hold you back any longer!

Keep Kicking!
Pastor John


Doug Robinson said...

Good Stuff Pastor!

Anonymous said...

Amen pastor John, The comfort zone is always changing for me.. Just when you get in a place of comfort God seems to move you to another So happy he moved me to DCCC.

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