Leaving Your Comfort Zone
I think I am stuck in my comfort zone. So many thoughts are in my head, but nothing seems like it is worth writing about. It has been some time since my last blog, and I wanted to focus on the Beatitudes, but my head just is not there. I see so many other issues but don’t even know where to begin to address them. I am in some way disheartened because I feel like God’s Church (the collection of believers) is tearing itself apart from the inside over trivial matters. We see churches being split over the term Contemporary. We see churches divided on the role that women play inside the church. Churches are turned upside down because of traditional views and a refusal to change. What used to work may not be working anymore and we need to accept that while at the same time recognize what is working and keep that going.
When was the last time you left your comfort zone?
I can already tell that if this gets posted to blog that it is going to be a little hectic to read as I may jump from thought to thought just to be writing again.
Blame it on my depression or just a bad attitude if you will but I just feel blah at the moment. I see things going on and I want to scream. I want to wake the world up and cannot understand why we are not addressing the issues around us. For some reason, if it does not directly affect us, we are not concerned with it. I question writing because I can see that there are only a handful of followers. Thankfully, I am constantly reminded that I am not writing this for me or to see how many followers I can get. I am writing this because it may help one person, and so long as they see it then I am happy. I trust that God will put it in front of the right eyes.
Football and The Gospel
This weekend I tortured myself by watching my favorite football team (Go Vols) play the #1 ranked Alabama. Watching the game and following my friends on social media I realized that we all stand ready to defend our team at any time. When the refs make a bad call; we are there to point it out. The funny thing is though, that we never point out the bad calls that go our way. As the game draws to a close we all breath the same retort – if it wasn’t for the bad officiating then we would have won that game.
Not only are the refs against us but we find flaws in our own coaches and think about the plays we would have run differently. We could have won if only we had run the ball instead of passing. Hindsight is 20/20 and all sports fans have perfect vision when it comes to hindsight.
I just wonder if we stand ready to defend the Gospel as well as we defend our football teams. Are we bandwagon fans of Jesus who only cheer Him on when times are good, and we are winning? Do we question the coach when things don’t go our way? Do we see the infractions in our own lives the way we point them out in others?
Honestly, how many of us, myself included, can sing the theme song to our favorite tv shows or know the lyrics to all of our favorite songs when they come on the radio but need slides or a hymnal to sing along on Sunday morning? We want to sit back and fuss about what songs we are singing at church, but we don’t take the time to actually listen to any of the lyrics. It is all about personal choice and not about praising God. If it was about praising God, then it would not matter when the song was written or whether or not it was in a hymnal or on a slide. I can only imagine just how many blessings we miss due to following our personal preferences and not allowing ourselves to worship God outside of our comfort zones.
The System Is Broken
We live in a world where the term “celebrity” pastor exists. We see Pastors preaching to the poor while wearing thousand-dollar sneakers. If they have a verified Twitter account or Instagram page, then we treat their words like gold and just assume they know what they are talking about. We have stopped taking the words of our leaders and comparing them to scripture. But again, only when it benefits us. If what they say makes us uncomfortable, we are quick to dig into the Word to find a loophole or a way out of listening to them. We might find one thing they said 20 years ago that isn’t biblical and decide to throw out all their teachings. Much like the coach who made one bad call. Too often today we are quoting the social media influencers instead of quoting the source material.
We see Christian role models leaving the faith because they are confused or never really believed what they said they did when their books and songs were selling millions of copies. In essence, we have commercialized Christianity all while asking what went wrong. Churches no longer give you free coffee but will sell you a name brand coffee in their lobby.
Mental Illness is tearing us apart from within. Church leaders are struggling and feel like they are not allowed to open up or seek help because they will be accused of lacking faith. We are holding to worldly beliefs that mental illness is a sign of weakness. Even when we think we are making progress we see that there are still huge hurdles to cross before we eliminate the stigma on mental illness inside the church.
All in all, there are a ton of issues facing Christianity today. The devil is at large, and we must realize that he is a defeated enemy who is still dangerous. We must put up our guard and get back to the basics of loving Christ and loving others. We have to get out of the mindset of doing what we like in hopes that it reaches others and we have to start focusing on fulfilling the needs of those around us.
Real ministry happens outside of our comfort zones.