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Seven-Day Practical Faith Blog: Being Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

If you see a stern-looking man on the Pittsburgh Steelers sideline with a cross around his neck, you've probably found Mike Tomlin, now the longest-tenured coach in the NFL. A Super Bowl champion, Tomlin's run of seventeen consecutive non-losing seasons is the third-longest in league history.

I have included interesting observations from Tomlin in my new signature talk, "Uncertainty is the Soil in which Faith grows," derived from my book, "From Comfort Zone to Trust Zone: How Jesus Urges Us to Take Leaps of Faith for His Kingdom." Tomlin seems aligned with me on the concept that being comfortable causes us to miss opportunity.

Speaking on the Pivot Podcast, Tomlin said, “Seeking comfort is a natural human condition, right? We all want to be comfortable. I realize that if you want special outcomes, you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. I’ve just trained myself over the years to resist comfort.”

In the case of my book, I demonstrate how Jesus calls us out of comfort zones into his trust zones where we seize risky opportunities for special outcomes and grow our faith under Jesus's leadership and support.

The ways we seek comfort can be subtle. Tomlin identified indirect ways he might seek comfort as a NFL coach. For example, after a game, his mother likes to point out how the officials went against the Steelers. Tomlin doesn't want to hear it, because he would derive comfort that stops him from self-examining and improving. Another example: if a coaching staff concludes that a player can't learn, Tomlin says they are seeking comfort because their teaching style isn't working.

Similarly, my book shares subtle examples such as how we chase status, consider ourselves better than others, favor stubborn viewpoints that create separation, and put political saviors over our Savior Jesus in ways that we overlook. I frequently see book readers responding, "I discovered comfort zones I didn't know I had."

In our seven-day practical faith journey, each of us needs to look for how we seek comfort, how we protect ourselves physically and psychologically, and how we choose certainty over uncertainty. There are times that Jesus is just fine with us living in comfort zones. But there are times that Jesus calls us to resist those comfort zones, to get beyond ourselves, and to trust him as we take a risk, small or large, for his sake.

I would love to share my message, "Uncertainty is the Soil in which Faith Grows," at your church or within your community. Please check out my speaking brochure, found in the orange box at Let's get a conversation started between us and within your church!

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