“I bought a house in the worst part of town!”
That’s not a sentence you hear very often, especially spoken in an excited tone. But that’s exactly what my friend Christine said to me! She is a smart, hardworking woman who has done fine financially so of course my question to her was WHY?
“Because God loves the people who live there and I think He wants me to tell them,” she replied.
Yet again my question was ,”WHY? It’s dangerous there! Aren’t you more comfortable in your house on the nice side of town where everything is peaceful, quiet, and SAFE?”
Her response: “God hasn’t called me to be comfortable.”
Let that sentence resonate in your soul for a second.
I know that it’s true, but somewhere deep down, I think I’ve convinced myself that comfort and safety ARE the goals. I’ve wrongly believed that if we are “good” enough Christians that God will bless us with happy, easy, and comfortable lives. Go ahead and check your Bible for that one. Trust me, it’s NOT in there!
In fact, the Bible says we should expect the opposite! I have been reading through Acts and learning about how the early church started. God’s followers and his apostles endured prison, beatings, and most lost their lives just to share Jesus with people; and I want to be COMFORTABLE?!
Right after talking to my friend Christine, I landed on this verse from Acts 7:41.
” The apostles left the Sanhedrin (after being beaten for sharing the gospel,) rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to the house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ. (Acts 7:41)”
What? They get beat up for Jesus and count it an honor?
It sounds crazy, but so does buying a house in the worst section of town.
People need Jesus and sharing him is NOT always going to be comfortable. Missionaries are called to go far away and suffer for Jesus by sharing him with people all over the globe. Our pastors are called in full time ministry so they will also have moments of suffering to share Jesus with people, but I forget that each of us are called to share Jesus right where we are.
This probably doesn’t mean that you need to immediately move to the worst part of town to reach the people there. But for me, it means getting out of my comfort zone and doing something that could be a little uncomfortable to show people the Jesus that I love. To finally knock on my neighbors doors and befriend them, to start interacting with the homeless in our community, to start serving the poor and even those who live in the worst part of town.
Being comfortable is overrated. Will you get out of your comfort zone with me?