You’ve all heard the term “Comfort Zone” and know what it means. It relates to doing something you usually don’t do; something new or something you don’t like to do; something that makes you uncomfortable. Recently I was in a situation that was way out of my comfort zone. Let me tell you how it came about. My grandson, Alexander Faidley (aka Zander), is a Music Composition major at
in . Last year we attended a recital where his
compositions were played by a cello, flute, and piano. At that time I casually said, “Why don’t you
write a piece for clarinet and ol’ grampa will come down and play it.” (If you don’t know, I do play clarinet and
have been in the Greater Greenwood Community Band the last four years). Well, guess what – he did! Zander wrote a three piece sonata for
clarinet and piano. He gave me the music
during Christmas break to see if I could play it. Well, after putting my foot in my mouth, I
couldn’t say “No”. One problem. Some parts of the pieces were quite
technically difficult! But yours truly
practiced and practiced and practiced. I
didn’t want to embarrass my grandson after the honor of being asked. Another problem. I hadn’t played with piano accompaniment
since I was a senior in high school. I
was waaaay out of my comfort zone – a difficult solo; a formal presentation;
working with an accompanist; and having an audience. I did have the opportunity of practicing
twice with the pianists (a different pianist for each musical piece). That’s enough of my story – I’ll just say
that the concert went off rather well. Nashville
[When was the last time you were out of your comfort zone, and what was it?]
[Another point: Be careful what you ask for; you may get it!]
I tell you this personal story just to set the stage for an area where most of us feel “out of our comfort zone”. What am I talking about? I’m talking about our ability to share with people in some way that we are Christians (Jesus Christ followers). That we live by and take our position on matters based on Biblical standards.
I know; I know – many of you are thinking, “I live as a Christian and people can see that in me.” But do people really know why you speak and act as you do? I’m just asking you to rethink the situation. Is this really enough? What stops you and me from telling people that we are Christians or telling people our Christian view on issues? [This is an area obviously very important to me, for I’ve written about it before.]
* First of all; if you say nothing from a Christian standpoint, people may think you don’t care or that your position is weak or that you agree with a non-Christian position.
What may stop us? (I’m talking to myself also in all this)
- Perhaps we’re not used to stating our position and why (out of our comfort zone). We can begin! Do it anyway!
- We’re embarrassed – Do it anyway!
- In today’s world it’s not PC (Politically Correct) – I say poppycock to that; do it anyway! Just simply state your position in a calm, succinct way. If people want to pursue it further, they’ll ask you something.
- “I don’t know enough”. Do it anyway; it may open the door to more discussion. You can look things up together.
- Perhaps you’re just not sure yourself as to what you believe. Keep searching! Study, ask strong Christians, and pray about it.
- Perhaps you’re intimidated. Don’t be. You should have confidence in your position. Again, just state it. [It does help to think about various topics ahead of time and plan what you would say. [Scripture on preparation]
* (I Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”).
I would personally add that this day and time you often can’t wait for someone to ask you what you think. You have to interject it – be bold enough to state it. [Scriptures on boldness]
* (II Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self discipline.”).
* (Acts 4:29 says, “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.”)
You must always remember that we have the Holy Spirit of God helping us in the timing of when to speak and the very words we use. Remember to pray for this divine help!
- Perhaps you’re “socially prohibited”. What do I mean? Perhaps you want to “fit in” to a group and don’t want them to think you’re “too religious”. If this is the case, you do need to make some important decisions.
- “I just don’t know what to say or how to do it.” Start simply, easily. You don’t have to give a sermon or a discourse on various topics. You’ll know if someone wants to really discuss the matter further. If they do, go for it.
- “So and so intimidates me”. Pray for boldness again, and just simply state your belief and why.
The current situation in our country is laden with so much anti-Christian rhetoric and so many anti-Christian activities and judicial decisions. Because of these I think it’s much more important now than at any time in my life to state that we’re a Christian and that’s why we take the position we do. Only you have the contacts and associations that you have. No one else. It’s up to you to be a Christian voice to them. Yes, it’s your responsibility. We are Christ’s ambassadors, His representatives, His witnesses, His messengers, His voice for today’s world.
[There’s a very good book entitled, “The Unexpected Adventure”, by Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg, that gives specific life situations and how they communicated Christ in the ‘marketplace’].
My prayer is that we can get out of our “COMFORT ZONE” in this area.