You’re heard the saying, “The grass is always greener (on the other side of the fence.)” I’ve thought this several times in my life. Maybe you have, too. When we get bored, or frustrated, or disillusioned---we decide to leave where we are and go somewhere else. Or in the case of relationships, we go to someone else. Or in the case of organizations, we leave one and go to another. “The grass is always greener …” becomes our rationalization for getting out.
Why do we do this? Almost always it’s because it’s easier to pick up with something/someone new rather than do the hard work of being faithful where we are.
People have told me when I asked them why they left my church, “The grass is greener …” What they meant but didn’t say was, “I’ve had a conflict with someone in the church and rather than doing the hard work of forgiving and reconciling, I’m going to take the easy way of leaving.”
People who’ve changed jobs have told me, “The grass is greener …” They meant, “The tedium of doing the same work with the same people at the same company just wasn’t exciting enough, so I left.”
In almost every case, leaving is easier than staying. Starting over is easier than continuing where we are. Let me be honest—it’s PURE laziness to leave. Our sinful nature chooses the easy over the hard.
But what if God wants us to do what’s hard, to stay put, to hang in there, to be faithful WHERE WE ARE? God’s purpose for us is not to make us COMFORTABLE but to make us COMFORMABLE! That is, conformable to the image of Jesus Christ. “We are to grow … until we attain to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” --Ephesians 4: 13
It is only by being faithful where we are that we develop perseverance. It’s only by staying in relationships that we learn to humble ourselves, ask forgiveness and heal the rift. It’s only by staying on the job that we are challenged to improve.
God wants to make us better. But if we shortcut the process, we’ll never get better. We’ll miss out on the deep-down satisfaction that comes with being better.
Lord, help me to remain faithful where I am, because that’s right where you want me.
--Pastor Ken Shick