I don’t understand why my fellow Christians are always begging people to leave their comfort zone. It’s one of those things you hear repeated so often in Christian circles that you’d think it’s gospel. But, is it? Is being comfortable a bad thing? Isn’t the Holy Spirit’s ministry as our Comforter, to comfort us — despite the zone we’re in (John 14:26)? I like being comfortable. I flourish in my comfort zone. Why would I step out of it?
And where’s the proof that we only experience spiritual growth outside our comfort zone? Don’t the scriptures essentially tell us to bloom where we’re planted (1 Corinthians 7:17,20)? Why leave the place we’re flourishing for a place that will stifle our growth? Remove a plant from its comfort zone and it will not survive. At best it’s growth will be stunted. At worst it will wilt and die. It will not “toughen up” and grow stronger or larger. Neither will we. (And just so you know, the Bible often compares the people of God to plants.) Likewise, suppose a Major League baseball player is in the zone, hitting home runs left and right; seeing the ball like it was the size of a pumpkin. Would any coach in his right mind exhort him to step outside his comfort zone and change his batting stance? Only a very clueless individual would. A smart coach would encourage him to not change a thing!
Maybe what the Comfort Zone haters really mean is for us to step outside our Complacency Zone. If that’s so, I’m with them 100%. Comfort and complacency aren’t the same thing. Complacent is what the church at Laodecia had become in Revelation 3:14-22. The Christians there were just… There. They were apathetic and smug. They were lukewarm. They had no spiritual pulse. They were as snug as a bug in a rug within their complacency. Worse yet, they were blind to their condition. Their complacency had caused them to kick Jesus to the curb. Jesus reminded them that they didn’t need to step outside their comfort zone — they needed to repent!
If you’re passionately following Jesus, sharing the gospel, fighting sin, and repenting — why change a thing? You’re in your comfort zone. You’re right where you need to be. Keep pressing on. To step out of your comfort zone would mean you’ve regressed. Instead of stepping outside your comfort zone, simply expand it. Make it mobile. Wherever you go, take your comfort zone with you.
What believers need is not a change of zones, but to flourish in the zone God’s placed them in. If you find yourself falling outside your comfort zone, repent and step back into it. God’s people flourish in the familiar and nurturing soil and climate of the gospel. They wilt outside it.