Monday, May 22, 2006

Risk Is Right

Security. Insurance. “Just to be on the safe side.” Sound familiar? As Americans we are obsessed with the idea of being safe and not taking any risks. Why? Because we’ve been taught that we have to succeed. Failure is deemed the worst possible thing that could possible happen. Now the question is, Are we as Christians supposed to be buying into that mindset? The answer is obvious: NO!

I’ve been reading a book by John Piper entitled Don’t Waste Your Life so a lot of these thoughts are either from this book or because of it. Something that he writes very strongly about is the idea that risk is right. Jesus calls his followers to risk everything for Him. When He first called his disciples they answered His call by leaving everything. They left their families, their jobs and their possessions behind. That’s some risk. How about that poor widow who gave her last two coins? Again, a huge risk, but Jesus says nothing but praise of her. He doesn’t launch into a speech about how she should have planned ahead and saved her money or invested it. Instead He says that she did exactly the right thing. And think of any martyr you have ever heard of. Is there any greater risk to take than to put your life on the line?

Here we are in modern America. How does this willingness to risk everything show in our lives? As I‘ve been reading Piper’s book and asking myself that same question, these are some questions I’ve come up with: How do I spend my money? Do I give enough of it away or do I hoard it and claim to be “saving for the future.” When I speak to others am I too concerned with being politically correct and not offending anyone or am I bold in my speech? Do I care too much about what others think of me or am I willing to be thought a fool for the sake of the Gospel?

I hope I’m not coming across as if I have all the answers to how every Christian should live his life. I’m clueless here. I’m simply paraphrasing what I’ve read in a book written by a man far wiser than I am. I have many more thoughts on this topic, but they will have to wait for another time. I hear my children stirring in their rooms and it’s time for me to put aside my rant and start mothering.

I’d like to leave you with a very important thought. No matter what you risk and no matter how you fail, Jesus will never leave your side. Hunger, famine, nakedness- even the sword cannot separate us from His love. He is, and will always be, our only true security.


Seth Ben-Ezra said...

You don't know it, but this was very helpful and appropriate for me today. Thank you.

Jeremy Beach said...

Your post was also quite helpful for me. Moving to Peoria was one of the largest risks that I have ever taken. So far, everything seems to be going well; however, there are moments when I still feel worried about being here.

The moments when I feel most anxious tend to be when I am sitting in my room alone wanting to be in the company of others but knowing that I don't know enough people here to have anybody to call. Fortunately, the Ben-Ezras and Lansberries have made it a rarity for me to be alone, but nevertheless, I am looking forward to when my circle of friends here is closer to what it was in PA.

I guess that what I am trying to say is thank you for reminding me that Christ is nearby even when I am in my room by myself. This makes my risk less stressful, at least for tonight.

Adiel said...

I'm glad you both found this helpful. It's so nice when a ramble is actually encouraging to people!
I think most Christians can look back at some risk they've taken and see how God totally blessed them through it- even in ways they weren't expecting. Yet, the next time they are called to risk something they doubt all over again that God will actually take care of them. I know I'm one of these people.
All you folks that have moved out to Peoria from Erie were taking a great risk in doing so, but we all can already see how God has guided to exactly where you need to be. Amazing, huh?
So, Jeremy, don't worry! But just to be on the safe side, I'll be praying for you. ;o)