The Comfort Zone

by | Oct 28, 2011 | Purpose & Identity

I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. —Romans 1:14

I am a very nostalgic person. I love walking down memory lane. Years ago I was being driven to the airport in Cincinnati, Ohio. On the way I caught a glimpse of the old railway station in Cincinnati. I remembered as a boy how we always had to change trains at that station to visit my grandparents in Illinois. I asked the driver, “Would you mind if we drove over to the old Union Station (as we called it)?” He was happy to do so. I got out and walked inside. It did me a world of good. And yet it was sheer nostalgia—there was nothing spiritual about it at all. It was a precious memory being relived.

But it taught me a lesson. Not only can we not go back to yesterday, but also so much of what we think is valid today is whether we “connect” to it. Some call it our “comfort zone.” If it reminds us of where we’ve been, we are more likely to accept it. If someone we trust says something new, we will take it on board every time, but if we don’t like the person, we tend to be suspicious no matter how valid his or her point may be.

I once listened to a friend of mine read aloud a statement that gripped him. I replied, “I like that—read it again.” He did. “Who said that?” I asked. When he told me, my stomach churned. It was by a person whose views on so many issues are those I reject categorically. I began to see what I could find that was wrong with it. Then I realized how childish I was behaving. Either I will recognize truth for its own sake, or I am going to embrace the thoughts only of those who adhere to my way of thinking. I felt convicted to my fingertips. I vowed then and there to be a seeker of truth, no matter who says it. Surely I can accept truth, even if it is stated by my enemy! We must be willing to follow truth no matter where it leads us. This is the only way you and I can recognize and experience today’s anointing.

Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).

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