Growth vs. Comfort

Two weeks ago I bought a pair of Birkenstocks. They are a quintessential component of any Oregonian’s wardrobe. They are ugly and also uncomfortable. In fact, the salesperson told me that the first forty hours of wear could be outright painful. Quite the sales pitch.

I handed them a hundred and thirty bucks and walked out the door with my sandals.

I traded some money for a pair of shoes. As I think back on my purchase, I realize now that I made another exchange beyond a financial transaction. I made a decision to give up my physical comfort for a greater purpose. Which leads me to the big idea of this post.

You can have comfort or growth, not both.

If you choose growth over comfort, on the other side, you will experience something we all want: A life full of blessing and a legacy that can change history. This is not my promise to you. It’s God’s.

In Genesis there is a story about a guy named Abraham. Listen to what God says:

“[Abraham,] I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”

This is what we want to hear, isn’t it? God is going to bless us, He is going to bless our friends, He is going to smite those who are mean to us. Sounds great, right? But I didn’t give you the whole story. Just before God makes this incredible promise He makes one small condition.

“Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.”

As it turns out, there is a catch. If Abraham wants growth and blessing, then he has to sacrifice comfort to attain it. God asks him to leave everything that made him comfortable in exchange for something greater.

Why did Abraham have to leave? Maybe God asked him to leave his home because Abraham placed too much value in the comfort and security that family provided. (If you keep reading his story, you will see that God has to keep asking Abraham to trust him with his family.) I think God knows what we value most and He asks us to sacrifice it for what He has for us.

God asks you and I to exchange growth for comfort too. He asks us to let go of what we are holding on to so that He can do something even bigger.

We all hold onto things that make us comfortable such as relationships and material possessions. Of course, those aren’t necessarily bad things, but at times those things can take control of us. For example, money is great, but greed is not. Do you ever hold on to things that keep you from what God has for you?

I know I do. I can relate a lot to Abraham right now…

Many of you know that my family and I are in the process of moving to join the team at BridgeWay.  We are so excited about this new season! I believe God is up to something big and I think he wants to use BridgeWay to impact our community. However, if I’m being honest, this move is also the most uncomfortable thing I have ever done. I am a lifelong Pacific North Westerner. I have lived in the same city for nearly 25 years. I have a great job at a church I helped start. I have an amazing group of friends. We have mountains… I could go on and on.

Bottom line: I am very comfortable where I am.

However, if it is true that God wants to do something big in me and through me, then I have to choose growth over comfort. As Lizzy and I have stepped out in faith, we have seen our confidence in God grow. Every day we remember that God has provided for us on our journey and we choose to trust that God will provide what we need to take another step.

So what do say? Do you want growth or do you want to be comfortable? Remember: you can have comfort or growth, but not both.

Let’s choose growth and do something incredible together!

Much love to you all,