I believe that all of us have gone through awkward moments, situations that we would like to forget. At these moments we feel uncomfortable and pretty shamed. Most of the time we try to avoid certain situations because of fear or feeling awkward. But doing this will limit the possibilities for us to grow and learn. Our culture is a culture of comfort. We are encouraged to do what we want, when we want, with whomever we want.  We live in a world where everyone is looking for comfortable safe spaces.  If something is uncomfortable, we want to avoid it at all costs. Instead of learning how to deal with things, avoiding the situation is the new norm.

Truth is, we grow more as a person when we are forced out of our comfort zone. Many times, it’s in those awkward situations that we learn to lean on God and deal with issues we struggle with in our Christian faith, even though, it is just that — uncomfortable and awkward. The Christian life is full of discomfort and awkwardness but God wants to use these challenges to help us know him better.

The Christian Life Is Uncomfortable, so Embrace It.

John 12:25 “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

These are challenging, counter-cultural and seems like not very comforting words! What Jesus is saying is that if you love the comforts of this life above all else, you’ll miss out on the comforts of eternal life in heaven. Following Christ is not one golden ticket to the American dream. It’s an invitation to die, to pick up a cross.

The Christian Life Is Culturally Uncomfortable, so Live It.

Just as there are cultural differences between countries, there is also a difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the World; two different worlds that have nothing in common.  No one really can live in both.  Some people try, but the worlds are very different. One is old, the other is new.  One is earthly, the other is heavenly.  One is deadly, the other is life giving.  One is material, the other is spiritual.  One is filled with lies, the other is all truth. One relates to the impure, and the other to the pure. These two worlds have cultures that are in conflict. The culture of this world is based on the idea that I have the right to create my own truth. I have the right to have my own standards, to make my own religion. Everyone has his/her rights and freedoms. This culture is based on the desires of the human nature. The Apostle Paul, sitting in jail in Rome, shows us the differences between the culture of this world and the culture of God’s Kingdom.

Philippians 3:18-20 “For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ…”

The Christian truth may seem uncomfortable, but that is what it means to follow Jesus. And if we are honest, these truths can be difficult to accept. Because comfortable Christianity is far from the costly path of disciples of Jesus. Comfortable Christianity has little prophetically to say to a comfort-seeking and consumerist world. Comfortable Christianity has little urgency in mission and little aptitude for growth. Uncomfortable Christianity, however, leads to life and transformation. It leads us to rely on God and not on ourselves; to serve rather than be served; to live lives marked by sacrifice. It leads us to do hard things and embrace hard truths for the sake and glory of the One who did the hardest thing.

It may be uncomfortable, but it will be worth it because on the other side of discomfort is the delight in Christ. God calls us to more than comfortable Christianity. This call requires life-changing sacrifices. It requires us to embrace things we may want to avoid. But, it’s absolutely necessary. This comfortableness can either push us away from God or draw us closer to him than we’ve ever imagined. In the end, being uncomfortable can be an opportunity to experience the grace, mercy, power and the love of God.

Pastor Norberto Obermann