I want to talk today about the level of discomfort we are willing to undergo for our faith.
How many of us would be willing to admit, if asked, before a crowd of people that we believe in God? I willing to bet it would make a lot of us uncomfortable to be asked. I freely admit that there have been times in my life where I have been one of those people. I might have acknowledged that I believed in God, but in a chill, there’s got to be something out there sort of way.
Why do we do that?
We’re afraid that people might judge us for believing. We’re afraid they’ll think we’re one of those “crazy” Christians and they won’t want to be our friend. Ultimately, I think its because we are afraid of losing something that we think is important.
I have always believed in God, but there have been lots of times when I’ve held that belief close, like a secret that needed to be protected. What I was really protecting was the idea of whom I wanted the world to see. I was okay believing in God as long as it didn’t make me feel uncomfortable.
Now that I’m farther along in my faith journey, I have started to experience what I thought was a new fear, but have come to realize is just the same old fear expressed in a different way. A fear of being uncomfortable. I’m afraid of what God is going to ask of me, the closer I get to him. When I really look at that fear, I realize that I’m still afraid of losing something. I’m willing to read my bible every day and pray and sing praises to God, just as long as he doesn’t ask more of me. I don’t want my faith to become uncomfortable.
But then I think like a parent – I know I always come back to this. Would I accept my child never trying something new, something that might be amazing, because he was “uncomfortable” or afraid. Absolutely not. I would love him and encourage him and then, if he still put up a fuss, I would make him do it. But I would never push my child to do something that I thought would hurt him. And when I think about it this way – I know that my fear of what God will ask or expect from me is groundless.
Last week I posted the Zack Williams song “Fear is a Liar”. I really believe that when I start to feel fear, especially about my faith or expressing it loudly and proudly to others, or diving more deeply into it, or giving more of myself and my life to God — that fear doesn’t come from God. It comes from the one who would love nothing more than to keep me from God. To keep my relationship with my faith “comfortable” – because that means I can never grow. I can never be the full expression of the person God created me to be.
What is so important to me that I am afraid of losing it? Realistically, what will I lose because I express my faith?
Jesus says “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” Luke 6:38
The more I give to God, of my heart, my soul, my self…the more he will give to me. Having faith isn’t about losing, it’s about gaining. Gaining a perfect love and joy that can’t come from anything here in this world. It can only come from Christ.
When you push your child to try something new it’s because you want them to grow and develop and be the very best they can be. God wants that for us too. So I’m resolving to give up my fear, to be willing to be uncomfortable for God. I think, much like learning to tie your shoes, the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Let’s all get uncomfortable today.
Here’s that Zack Williams song again because you can never be reminded too many times that “Fear is a Liar!”