Tuesday, March 4, 2014

the idol of comfort {relationships}

This is the third post in a series of posts on the topic of "comfort" and how it can easily become an idol in your life. If you want to go back to where it all began, start with part I: idol of comfort and then part II: idol of comfort {food}.

“Every person you have ever met – every person you have ever locked eyes with – deeply matters to God.” –Jonathan Mcintosh

It’s a powerful statement with huge implications if you really start to think about it. Every single person – your next door neighbor, that apathetic cashier at Target, your boss, that bratty toddler in your Sunday School class – all precious and deeply loved by God.

And, they all deserve to know it.

But when I think about what little I’m doing to share that Good News, it’s enough conviction to make me weep.

Because we all know that sharing the Gospel is anything but comfortable.

It takes time. It takes developing relationships. It takes coming along someone through the thick and thin, continually living Christ’s love.

As I look back on my relationships, I realize a sad truth. Most of my friends are just like me – white, middle class, college-educated, heterosexual, Christian women. Not that I’m complaining about them – I absolutely love my friends – but I’m disappointed in myself for always doing what’s comfortable, even if it was unknowingly.  

How do you learn – how do you grow – when you only surround yourself with more of the same? And how do you answer the call to “go and make disciples” if you only hang out with other disciples?

Unlike my problem with comfort food, I don’t really have a quick-fix solution for this one. One of the things I love most about blogging is that I get to meet so many different women from different countries, backgrounds, nationalities, etc., learn from them, and become long-distance friends with them. But how do you duplicate that outside of the Internet?

I have no idea. But I think recognizing my “comfort” habit is the first step and really opening my eyes to those who surround me every day is the second.

My friend Joanne – who is phenomenal at this sort of thing – would tell me to just walk up and start talking to people, but that scares the willy nillies out of this introvert. Any other advice for me?


  1. agodfashionedlifeMarch 4, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    My advice is invite someone to coffee! Even if you're inviting them to virtual coffee, to warm up to stepping outside the box.


  2. I don't have any great ideas either. I don't really come into contact with too many people who aren't at least mostly like me. Thanks for this post that really made me think!

  3. I hear you on this one for suuuure! I'm a complete creature of habit... anything outside of my norm scares me.

  4. That's a great idea - I guess my next question is, where do I meet these people {aside from blogging} that are different than me?

  5. I guess the reason I am thinking about this so much is that our church really has a Memphis-focused mission, and we want to really make a difference in the neighborhoods we live, work and go to school. So, with that in mind, a majority of the Memphis population looks absolutely nothing like me, yet still I've managed to find friends that are very much like me. It's kind of crazy how that works out.

  6. Yes, being a creature of habit definitely has its pros and cons. I guess I don't want to let being a creature of habit prevent me from living a fulfilling life - which I believe is exactly the point of your 30 before 30 list. :)

  7. Oh goodness, I have no good ideas! I'm also an introvert, so if I'm not in a position where it's natural to talk to someone, I just don't haha. I met most of my friends who have different backgrounds and beliefs in college, but now that I'm done, I don't meet a lot of people who are different than me!

  8. Jenny - weird question but do you live in an apartment? Here is why I ask....

    Sometimes when people meet me they think I'm extroverted. I can be sometimes but sometimes I'm super introverted. I often wondered how I could be a missionary and share the gospel in OK. I live in apartments and let's just say they aren't the classiest. Well, I always walked by my neighbor. She was nice and was usually outside to smoke or play with her kid. I'd always say hi and she would say hi back. I asked her about church and that was clearly a closed topic. I knew God wanted me to reach out to her but I wasn't sure how. One day we were walking out to go to church and she was sitting outside crying so hard. We talked for a few minutes. Anyways, Christmas came around and I knew it would be a time I could share. I didn't feel like I could just go up to her and share the gospel but I knew I could write her a card. So I did. I also felt like I should take her a meal. It took me a while to bake and take her a meal but I finally did. A week later she brought me back my dishes and she cried and told me how I'll never know how much that meal meant. I'm not writing all that to brag but I guess what I'm trying to get at is to pray and ask God to put someone in your path. Ask him to show you who to speak to and ask Him to make it effective. If your heart is desiring to share the gospel God will help you. He will bring the right person at the right time.

    Do you have any Bible tracts? You can always leave those with a tip for your waiter / waitress.

    That was a novel...

  9. Oofda... this is a really convicting post! I've loved living in LA because there are so many people of different cultures/ SES backgrounds and, for the most part, people are really, really into talking with strangers. Some of my newest friendships have been made at a local brewery that has a cornhole set. It sounds silly, but it's amazing the things that people will open up about over a beer and a pickup game. Ty and I have both tried to get ourselves into hobbies that will allow us to meet people who aren't Christians; dance classes, homebrewers clubs, service groups, etc. It's been very humbling to learn from those who who are different from me!

  10. In college, it was so easy to make friends with people from different backgrounds. I met so many awesome people from around the world. But, I love some of the advice from Beka & Amanda above - about reaching out to people in your apartment or neighborhood or intentionally picking up a hobby or hangout spot where you meet new people.

  11. I just sent you a novel of an email, but I still want to comment on this :). We live in a guest house, but we will probably be moving to an apartment/house soon! I think it will be the perfect time to branch out and meet our neighbors. I'll have to bake some cookies or something :).

  12. I love everything you just said - but I especially love the idea of intentionally trying out hobbies that will allow you to meet new people. Daniel currently doesn't have much free time to pick up a new hobby, but that would definitely be an awesome thing for me and my girl friends to try! Thanks so much for your encouragement and your wise words, Amanda. :)