“Think outside the box.” You have undoubtedly heard this phrase before. It can mean a variety of things, depending upon what you’re using it for. However, I also believe it can have a deeper meaning, if we apply it to the Christian life.
So often, by the time we have reached our late teens, we have created a “comfort zone” – This is the box that all of our thoughts, hopes, dreams, desires, likes and dislikes, fit. If we stay inside this space, we will forever be comfortable and happy.
However, you may have figured out, God does not like to let his children stay inside a created zone. That’s why there is the process of sanctification. The process by which we are stripped of our own desires, molded and fashioned to be more like Christ. “…as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:21-24) If we were to honestly ask ourselves, though, whether we liked sanctification, most of us would probably shake our heads “no.” It’s not our first choice, when it comes to “thinking outside the box.” However, I find that sanctification pushes me out of my comfort zone, so that I will think of God and others, more than myself. That is what my duty as a Christian is: to love God and serve others. (Matthew 22:36-40) Those two things require me to step outside the box. “The deepest word that can be spoken about sanctification is that it is a progress towards true humanity.” (J.I. Packer)
So, today, tomorrow, this week, let’s get outside of our comfort zone. Let’s say that kind word, hug that unlovable person, spend more time with Jesus. Because you know what? Every great adventure starts with a first step.