Growth – no pain no gain?

Yesterday our pastor made a statement I’d rather ignore. He said, “If you want to grow, you must embrace the blessing of discomfort.”

I’m happy to embrace blessings—on my terms. I’d rather not think of discomfort as a blessing.

Since I’ve resumed riding my bike, I’ve been re-introduced to the physical fitness principle of “no pain—no gain.” Despite the claims of the infomercials, nobody ever got in shape without sweat and sore muscles.

However, does it have to be that way in the rest of life?

Nearly everything about my life is designed to eliminate or minimize discomfort. My entire existence is about as predictable and easy as I can make it. I want to believe I can sit in my comfortable home with my dependable income and risk-free relationships and grow spiritually.

Am I wrong?

Is it possible to grow, to become more like Jesus, within the protected cocoon I’ve constructed?

Or by intentionally seeking safety and avoiding struggle, am I also preventing the “spiritual fitness” I claim to desire?

A few years ago I would have dismissed these questions. Now—not so sure.

As I work to get my old muscles back in shape, I need to ponder whether some changes need to happen if I’m serious about getting in better “spiritual shape.”

I’m afraid it’s going to require some uncomfortable introspection.

What are your thoughts? Can you grow spiritually without discomfort?

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Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance
. Visit his web site

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