If new people we meet turn out to be totally different than us, it is easy to look down on them just because they might be dirty, unlearned, friendless, hurting, or a myriad of other things. But isn’t the church supposed to be a spiritual hospital to those people who desperately need God the most?
I came across this definition in a secular setting, but I couldn’t help but think that this applies almost perfectly to why it is so hard to open our hearts to another person when they are totally different and even unbecoming in their ways.
We like to stay in our little comfort zone most of the time and opening your heart to another whose life is messed up and might need more than just an encouraging word every now and then will definitely make you have to depend on God for answers.
What is cognitive dissonance? It’s the discomfort you feel when you try to reconcile two conflicting ideas or thoughts in your mind.
Cognitive dissonance is a hugely powerful force in our minds and our lives.
We need to make sense of our lives and our beliefs, so we avoid ideas and beliefs that contradict what we already think is right or true.
Many times we find ourselves going to huge lengths to justify our current belief, because to even consider the alternative is just too uncomfortable. I have found that something might not be morally or spiritually wrong, but it might contradict what I want to do versus what God wants me to do. His way usually takes me out of my comfort zone and places me into the “unknown” for a short period of time or even a long one.
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He made it a point to seek out the people who were the neediest and gave them something that changed their life forever. The neediest people are not always the ones who are poor or hooked on drugs. Zaccheus was a very rich man, though he had gotten most of his riches from charging too many taxes to the ordinary people so he could pad his own pockets. That didn’t stop him from being miserable enough with his life to climb a tree so he could see this Jesus better that was passing by. Somehow he must have known this man could help him in his miserable condition.
What if Jesus had passed him by because it would have taken too much time to help him? Zaccheus might have never taken another opportunity to seek help again.
Our Jesus can help even the worst of sinners, but He wants you to be willing to get involved and also be willing to pray intensely for that person to change and let the Holy Spirit show you how to help them. You can’t do it on your own, but with God’s help all things are possible.
I can look back on my life and see that more times than I would like to admit, I have been stubborn and bull-headed about things I knew God was telling me to do. Sometimes I just didn’t want to take the time to get involved because I had my own agenda or the need was too overwhelming and I didn’t know where to begin.
Sometimes it gets messy when we try to help others or we might even get burnt, but God wants us to concentrate totally on what He desires and not worry about anything else.
He wants us to be a bright light in a very dark world so that those with the most desperate needs will be able to see there is something better than what they have now.
Then they might do like Zaccheus and run to our source of light (God) because they can see that we have something that can truly change their life.
I know that living out of your “comfort zone” will never be easy, but OH! how great will be the rewards that will come from it. You can have the same peace and joy that Zaccheus had after his encounter with Jesus totally turned his life around – never to be the same again!
This post written by Cathy Deaton.
Please check out my other sites:
How To Deal With A Selfish Person
Handbook for Victorious Christian Living
Blueprint for Victorious Christian Living
Amazon Kindle Author Page
Powered By WP Footer