Our "comfort zone" is the area in which we feel comfortable. It has boundaries. We cross a boundary when we "feel" uncomfortable. Anything that or anyone who makes us uncomfortable violates our comfort zone. Anything making us uncomfortable is resisted.

Comfort zones do not declare good or bad, measure right or wrong, or define the "God approved" or "God condemned." Comfort zones protect personal comfort. They vary radically. What is comfortable to one is uncomfortable to another. Comfort zones more likely involve personal preferences than God's teachings.

Can comfort zones include standards, practices, convictions, or behaviors that are ungodly? Certainly! When a Christian is comfortable with something ungodly, does his or her comfort make it innocent or good? No! A classic objective of Satan's deceit is to make us comfortable with evil. We perceive no danger or threat from the comfortable.

Can comfort zones exclude standards, practices, convictions, or behaviors that are godly? Certainly! When a Christian is uncomfortable with something godly, does his or her discomfort make it evil? No! Another classic objective of Satan's deceit is to make us uncomfortable with the godly. The deceit: "If I find it uncomfortable, God cannot like it!" We are less likely to open our hearts and minds to God if that openness creates personal discomfort. When Satan makes us uncomfortable with an avenue to greater spirituality, we close our hearts to God.

Many crises in Christ's body incorporate the "theology of personal comfort zones" in their foundation. We individually assume that "my" comfort zone is "God's" comfort zone. We assume if "I don't like it," God does not like it. We assume "my comfort zone came from God." Therefore, "I" impose "my" comfort zone on other Christians as "God's truth." "I" transform "my" conscience's reactions [that must be respected] into God's will.

No one's comfort zone dictates God's methods or comfort level. No Christian would passively allow a group to unjustly execute his or her son, regardless of how much good the death could achieve. No Christian would demand that a preacher marry a prostitute in order to be a living parable to the congregation (Hosea).

Our objective: do not allow "my" comfort to restrict God's work and purposes. Our objective: allow God to change us so that our comfort zones will include everything that comes from God and expresses itself in Jesus Christ.

The question never is, "Am I comfortable?" The question always is, "Am I growing into the image of Christ?" Spiritual growth specializes in violating comfort zones. Godliness makes us uncomfortable. Evil, not godliness, places a premium on comfort.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 16 April 2000

 Link to next article

 Link to other Writings of David Chadwell