Alasdair White is often credited with initially using the phrase “comfort zone.” My understanding is that he used it in business management theory. He was trying to get businesses and investors to move away from their familiar ventures into new and unfamiliar areas for greater rewards.
There is disagreement about whether he created or used an already accepted phrase. Either way, it has caught on, and it is hard to go a week without hearing someone say something about getting out of a comfort zone.
We understand that to grow as individuals, we need to get out of our familiar places and habits. For us to make a more significant impact on the world, we need to move beyond the borders of our known existence and head into places that make us uncomfortable.
While we all agree with this premise, very few do it in practice. We like our regular routines because they are comfortable. They make us feel good when the rest of the world is chaotic. Most of us will choose the familiar without hesitation, no matter how often we have said, “I need to get out of my comfort zone.”
Here is one of the amazing things about being a follower of Jesus. If you genuinely try to live for him, you will find that he continually pushes us into situations challenging our comfort. For a Christian, the issue is not, “Am I willing to step out of my comfort zone,” but rather, “Am I willing to follow Jesus wherever he leads?” The first question is about my willingness to take risks, and the second is about my level of faith.