In my speech class the other day we had to interview each other regarding the topics we’re speaking on. This one girl asked me if I was comfortable stepping out of my comfort zone. I thought that was a ridiculous question to ask, it’s called a comfort zone for a reason, because you’re uncomfortable stepping out of it. It made no sense to me. The professor thought the question was marvelous though, so I didn’t say what I was thinking.
When I came to college I didn’t have much of a comfort zone. I lived in a room with 3 other guys who were very unlike me. We got along great regardless of our differences, and I came to love living in the basement with them. As I began to get more involved with campus ministry I began spending more time with Christians, living with Christian roommates, and now the majority of my close friends are now Christians. I have built a large comfort zone around myself.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know a good group of people in my major, I know the guys on my floor in the dorm, I work with a bunch of other people at my job. Yet, I do not really know many of them at all. I don’t know what going on in their lives, don’t know how they’re struggling, I hardly know what they do with most of their free time. I only know them at the surface level, and they only know me that much. That is pitiful.
I cannot do God’s work in my comfort zone. I believe that God has called me to befriend non-believers. Not for the purpose of making them into my Christian stereotype. But so that God can work through me in their lives. People are people in God’s eyes. Matthew 5:45 says, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” While we’re on earth, I don’t believe God distinguishes to whom he gives grace. I wish I could do the same.
I get by many times thinking that if someone wants to get to know me, then they should be comfortable doing the same things that I do. I bring non-believers to a Christian meeting and wonder why they think it’s weird, or why they aren’t comfortable in this situation. Why? I’m quite sure that I’m not the only Christian who struggles with this. We need to engage people where they are at. That means going to their house, hanging out with their friends. We should be the ones willing to risk ourselves, risk our comfort zones for them, not vice versa. I need to step out of my comfortable Christian clique.
I’m still figuring out this “In the world, but not of the world” business means (John 17:14-15). But I’m trying to figure it out. What I have written here I have not put into practice yet. It’s going to be hard, and it may take some time. Please have patience with me.