The Pain of Comfort.

I love working out, I never do it! But I love it. I’m sure, that some of you who are reading this, are still living up to your New Year resolution, to work out this year. I’m also sure, that some of you have realized that the gym is a project better suited for 2020.

Most people I know, have lots of reasons for why they don’t work out. However, when you really get down to the root of the matter, you discover that usually, it’s because working out is unpleasant and hard. I don’t know why it has to be this way, but for some reason, pain and muscle growth go hand in hand.

Now physical growth isn’t the only kind of growth that happens in uncomfortable places. Most growth, in fact, happens when things are hard. This is also true when it comes to spiritual growth. In this post, we will be looking at how a desire for comfort can hinder our growth as Christians.

The fact that we tend to grow in uncomfortable situations, is one of the reasons that I think the New Testament, is so positive about people going through things like trials or persecution. Take a look.

Romans 5:3-5

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Matthew 5:10

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

When you get out (or are pushed out) of your “comfort zone”. You find yourself in a place where you need, new skills, new knowledge, and sometimes a better or new kind of strength. This, of course, is a scary place to be. However, it is the best place for personal growth to happen.

Throughout my study of Christianity, I have learned that, not only, does the Bible consistently have a positive outlook on being uncomfortable, but also directs its followers to undertake uncomfortable tasks.

For instance, resisting temptation, take a look at James 1:12,

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

Another example would be, loving your neighbor Mark 12:31,

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

This can be especially uncomfortable because Jesus goes on to define “neighbor” as anyone you run into. I guarantee you, that even the most annoying person living next to me, is far easier to love than some of the people who I bump into on the street.

If you have a hard time living out any of the things found in the Bible, don’t feel like you’re failing. We are not expected to follow his commands perfectly, we are expected to learn how to do it perfectly, take a look at how John says it, in 1 John 3:7,

“Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.”

Believe it or not, God knows that you’re not going to just wake up one day, and be able to love everyone who crosses your path or live out all of the things he has commanded. This is why he commanded us to practice them.

He also doesn’t expect us to do it on our own. Spiritual growth in Christianity is not a, do it yourself, kind of thing. God doesn’t hand us the Bible and say, “good luck, there’ll be a test when I get back”! Spiritual growth in Christianity is discipleship-based, and we are disciples of Christ (Matthew 28:19). In other words, Jesus needs to be an active part of your growth. Unfortunately, Christians will often try to mature/grow on their own. This tends to end with someone not attempting any real moral, or personal development at all. While others, end up working really hard and burning out. Now there are lots of reason, as to why people don’t look to God. However, in my life, I have found that the core reason is my preference to be comfortable. It is far more comfortable for me to be in control, and far less comfortable when I allow God to tell me, not only what to work on, but how I should go about to working on it. From what I have seen, a desire to stay in control is one of the biggest hindrances to a Christians growth.

As scary as releasing control of my life has been. I have to say, I have never found a better teacher. I don’t know about you, but I for one, am glad that we have master who is able to sympathize with my weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15). Who also knows me intimately, and who has my best interests in mind. I want to encourage you to take some time and interact with God. Ask him to help you grow in your Christian walk.  

I want to leave you with, I guess, a reason to seek God’s direction. As disciple’s of Christ, we are not just learning to be better humans, he is teaching us to be like him, Peter says it like this.

2 Peter 1:4

“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

We are literally, taking on the nature, of the one who is the definition of good. Don’t allow a desire for comfort, rob you of this great gift!

Like always, leave a comment below and follow above. Have a good one!!

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