Sunday, April 28, 2013


What does the word scary mean to you?

To me the word scary conjures up electric sockets, pain and rejection. I think I'm not alone on the last two. I may be the only one hear who get's tingles down her spine trying to unplug the vacuum but I'm sure I'm not alone in fearing physical pain or a glance of scorn.

One of the important concepts outlines in Do Hard Things is the concept of stepping outside your comfort zone. A comfort zone is what it sounds like, the place where you are at ease and sure of yourself. The place where you are comfortable. Stepping outside your comfort zone means doing the things that you know you should do even when they scare you or make you uncomfortable.

Notice that I emphasized "that you know you should do". Some fears are healthy, such as fear of pain or fear of electricity. If I wasn't afraid of the pain breaking my leg would cause I would probably do stupid things like jumping off the roof.  My fear of electricity means that I will never stick my finger in a socket.

After reading Do Hard Things I immediately decided to start combatting my fear of rejection. It's been a slow and painful process and I am still struggling with it more that I like to admit. Stepping outside your comfort zone to me sounded like battling fear of such things as public speaking, {something I don't happen to have a problem with} talking on the phone{something I have a major problem with} making friends, sharing the gospel, and being open about things.

Those things are scary and make us feel vulnerable; but in this post I'd like to talk about another thing I'm scared of that I think a lot of people are scared of too.

I'm scared of inconvenience. In other words, there is a place outside my comfort zone that I like to pretend is inside my comfort zone: a place called "I don't feel like it". This place is full of scary monsters such as "patience", "including my little siblings", "interrupting my schedule" and "admitting I'm wrong".

It's not to hard to admit at least {even if it's hard to fix} that I'm scared of sharing the gospel and getting laughed at. Sharing the gospel is a big thing and it's intimidating. What if they laugh at me? What if I sound like an idiot? What if they stump me with a question I can't answer? All of these are fears that need to be dealt with but somehow they seem less embarrassing than: what if I don't get enough time to use the computer? What if my siblings ruin my fun? What if my pride gets hurt? What if I don't get what I want?


For me my comfort zone not only includes the things I'm good at and the things I like doing but it also includes my selfishness. It suits me to be selfish. It's comfortable for me when I get my way. So the path of least resistance for me includes not only avoiding the telephone and my inbox and chances to tell about my savior, it includes avoiding sacrificing my petty wants and desires.

See for me the hardest things are the things nobody sees. This first series on That Which is Least is about taking the five kinds of hard outlines in Do Hard Things and confronting the unseen and "unimportant" side of them. The side that doesn't get any commendation. The side that I skipped over the first time I read the book.

If I had a fear of speaking in public and I overcame that fear and spoke to a group about something I felt deeply about people would notice, Now I would hope that wouldn't be the reason I did it but if I'm honest it would certainly help. But seriously, who notices when you switch your schedule around so tht your sister can have the computer? Your sister says thank you but there aren't any headlines loudly proclaiming "Today Carolyn Let Her Sister Use the Computer First, Even Though She Was Afraid She Wouldn't Have Enough Time To Write"

But that brings us back to the reason we're doing hard things. Because they glorify God. When we do the things we are comfortable doing we aren't relying on God. Ideally yes we understand that he gives us the very breath we breath, but our faith muscles are all strong enough to trust that he'll give us another breath, or give us the ability to fold the laundry like we've done a million times before. But when we do things we're not sure we can do, like share the gospel or include our siblings in something, that our faith muscle grows.

Stepping outside your comfort zone is all about trusting God to take care of you out there. About knowing that he is the same God over there with all the people who are keeping their tempers as he is over here with the people who are losing them. It's about knowing that he's the one who got those people in keeping-tempers -and there and that left to themselves they'd still be over here with you in losing-tempers-land.

God's gift of faith is what gets us past "What if they refute everything I say to them about the Bible?" and it's also what get's us past "But what if I don't get my way?" the only difference is which comfort zone we decide to step out of.

Have you ever seen those pictures that ask a question and then underneath is a picture of these two guys from some cartoon I've never seen and they're saying "Both. Both. Both is good"? Well imagine one of those down at the bottom of this post.

I'd say let's step out of both.  


  1. I love "Do Hard Things!" And I agree. Sharing the gospel is hard-- but I have seen the beautiful fruit of it sharing with kids at school. One who was really hostile to Christians (talked about how he'd like to shoot them) is now, a year since I'd began having some discussions with him, even going to church! God is waiting outside of our boats-- so let's step out together!

    Also, I used to be really afraid of being asked questions that stumped me when sharing the gospel. I read a really good book called, "The One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven." That answered a lot of questions, and I've learned to always call upon God as I'm sharing for wisdom and truth to fill me!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Danielle! One thing I've learned about hard questions is that it's not up to us to change a person's mind and if we get it wrong God is not stopped.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. Wow. Just wow. Thank you so much for this--I think I really needed it today. I haven't read this book yet, but I want to soon. :)

    I think my main problem is selfishness, too. I don't want to spend time with my neighbors that don't know Christ because why? Because *I* don't enjoy it. I would rather be doing something *I* want to. I don't spend as much time with my siblings why? Because it would take away from *my* time. I'm working on it. :) So, thanks.

    - Amanda F