Sunday, May 22, 2011

Comfort Zones.

I've officially been here for over a week now, so I'm starting to get a little bit of a feel for what the rest of my summer will be like. (Except for the mass exodus of interns that will be coming, evidently while I'm in San Diego with my family, to spice things up.) Even after a week, I'm already finding myself outside my comfort zone enough to feel some growth beginning to happen.

I always find it interesting how just being stretched and mildly uncomfortable (not necessarily in a bad way) in one area of my life has the potential to force me to rethink most of the others. Simply getting on a plane and flying five hours west has put me in a situation where I'm thinking a lot more deliberately about my faith, my professional goals, my social skills, and so on.

The biggest thing I've been thinking about was brought up in Church last week, and is the idea of being "in the world, but not of it." (If you remembered that I mentioned I would talk about this in my last post, double brownie points!) Getting out of the Grand Rapids/Calvin College bubble has put that on my heart in a huge way, and it's a subject that, while incredibly important, really has no easy answers.

If I had to take a shot at what the best way to approach being a light in the darkness of society, my answer would be three-fold:
  1. Be an example as much as possible without getting in people's faces about it. Being very outspoken all the time is a great way to turn people off to the gospel. Do as much right as you can, with the Spirit's help, and allow your actions to speak louder than your words.
  2. Jump on opportunities to share your faith when they arise.
  3. Pray.
Certainly different situations call for different approaches, and being more forward and demonstrative can be necessary at times, but often those types of obvious displays of piety can cause more harm than good.

This morning, I was unable to make it to Church due to my current housing situation (had to change rooms at 11am), but I listened to a sermon from Mars Hill a couple weeks ago about works righteousness vs. gift righteousness, and came away convicted. A lot of the time, we think about our actions, how right they are, how good a job we're doing, and how great a job we're doing at being cities on a hill. Unfortunately, that attitude is destructive as well. Looking down on people is never the answer.

So that's what I've been thinking about. Questions? Comments? Concerns on my worldview? Do share!

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