Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

I have a friend who has a speaking engagement this weekend. She's an amazingly talented public speaker with a heart for other women. God nearly always speaks to me through her when I hear her speak. Yet, she tells me she's never comfortable speaking to a large group of women about God. It's way outside her comfort zone.

You see, she's always afraid she doesn't know enough about the Bible to be able to answer all the questions that will come her way. She's worried that she'll get it wrong. Yet, every time she speaks, God shows up in big ways.

Every time God asks us to step outside of our comfort zone, He is stretching and growing us. He is forcing us to rely on His strength and grace, not our own. When we get out of God's way and let Him do the work, He can do amazing things.

I'm often way outside my comfort zone when I write this blog and speak to mom's groups. I'm concerned that people will look at my kids and hold them to a higher standard. I'm sometimes reluctant to share the things God tells me to share because they make me vulnerable to hundreds of people I've never met. It's always uncomfortable to stand up in front of a group of people that I don't know and share what God has given me to share.

Yet, in those times when I obey and lay my struggles and concerns on the line, God always shows up in mighty, mighty ways. He uses the moments I'm most uncomfortable to teach me the most. The more I have to rely on Him for strength and wisdom, the more room I give Him to work in my life and the lives of others.

This lesson doesn't stop with us, though. Often, our kids are asked to step outside their comfort zones. God may ask them to share their faith with their friends. He may ask them to stand up for an unpopular child in their class. He may ask them to try out for a sports team or audition for a role in a play.

We need to help our kids understand that if we never step outside our comfort zone, then we deny God a chance to use us. God is not interested in our comfort; He is interested in our character. To stretch and grow our character, He sometimes needs to make us uncomfortable.

Help your kids overcome their reluctance to step outside their comfort zone.

  • Share with your kids some examples in your own life of when you stepped outside your comfort zone and God used you.
  • Remind your kids that God always provides the grace and strength that we need. Share 2 Corinthians 12:9 with your kids. "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."
  • Illustrate this verse by placing a large cup and a small cup on the table. Tell your kids that the cups represents days in their lives. Fill the cups to the very top with water. Tell your kids that the water represents God's grace and power. Explain that God gives us enough grace and strength for each day. Some days we need lots of grace and strength, so the cup is big. Other days, we don't need as much, so the cup is smaller. But God gives us enough grace and strength for the things we are facing that day. He doesn't overflow our cup and expect us to save some grace and strength for tomorrow or next week. He doesn't underfill our cup so we are struggling under our own power. He gives us exactly what we need for the day we are on.
  • Encourage your kids not to let fear keep them from doing the things that God has asked them to do. Fear has no place in our lives, even when we are stepping outside our comfort zone. 2 Timothy 1:7 says "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline." Help your child give his fear to God and step out in faith that God will give him the power and strength he needs to step out of his comfort zone.

Remember that often it is when we are most uncomfortable that God is able to use us the best. Rely on His power and strength to step outside your comfort zone -- and watch Him do amazing things.