At times you will encounter a situation that causes discomfort. It may not be painful, but the joy that you experienced in the past seems to be gone. Admittedly, every job or relationship will have it’s ups and downs but you sense that perhaps it’s time for a change.
We can become complacent in our comfort zone. A comfort zone is an emotional state in which you operate with ease and there is a minimal amount of risk. Comfort zones are highly individual so that what is anxiety producing for one person can be a welcome relief from boredom for someone else. Any activities within the boundaries of your comfort zone can be conducted with a relative degree of calmness and security so people naturally prefer to stay within their comfort zone.
There is a problem with comfort zones however – growth only occurs outside of the comfort zone. If you are going to grow you need to step outside of your comfort zone. God’s desire for you is that you grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ – that requires stepping outside of your comfort zone. God desires your spiritual growth and He is willing to help you,
Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions. (Deuteronomy 32:11)
As you move out of your comfort zone your level of anxiety increases and this creates an enhanced level of concentration and focus. A certain amount of anxiety improves performance until an optimum level of arousal has been reached. If you go too far from your comfort zone you will leave the learning zone and enter the panic zone as higher levels of anxiety are experienced.
As you move out of your comfort zone and into the learning zone you experience new adventures and your comfort zone actually enlarges and you experience growth. Jesus was constantly developing His followers and enlarging their comfort zones. When is the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone with dependence upon God?
God is in the business of enlarging your comfort zones. F.B. Meyer said, “We never test the resources of God until we attempt the impossible.” What is the next step that God is asking of you to enable you to enlarge your comfort zone?
Associate Pastor – Discipleship. The Church at LifePark
Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University
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