Are you a risk taker? Some people would tell you not to ever take a risk, because. . .well because it’s risky! Play it safe would be their motto.
For sure, taking risks is not always a smart thing to do, but if you were to talk to any successful person in any field, no doubt they would tell you about some time in their life when they took a risk. They exposed themselves to failure—maybe even ridicule—but that’s what it took for them to be successful.
As we live our lives for Jesus, there will be times when we need to take a risk, move out of our comfort zone, attempt something that looks difficult, and yes, even run the possibility of failing. For example, maybe God has been prompting you to share your faith with a co-worker, but you’ve been reluctant to do so because it’s risky. You think thoughts like, That co-worker may react negatively; I may botch it up and say all the wrong things; maybe it’s against the law to share my faith on the job! As a result, fear keeps you from taking the risk.
I wonder how many of us are missing out on so much of what God wants us to do—and the blessings that come when we obey—simply because we’re not willing to take a risk. Obviously, we should always proceed with prayer and caution. However, if you’re afraid of any risk, you will simply never do all the good things that God has put you here to do. You’ll also miss so much of God’s blessing in your life!
In his insightful booklet, Risk Is Right, John Piper says his aim is to explode the myth of safety and deliver us from the enchantment of security, because it’s a mirage. It doesn’t exist. None of us knows what the next moment holds, not to mention tomorrow. God never takes any risks because he knows the end from the beginning. However, we don’t—and God doesn’t tell us because he intends for us to live by faith not by sight. Thus, our lives are risky.
Fear of risk keeps many of us paralyzed. It keeps people from making decisions; they want security nets or assurances of success before they make a move. Bonhoeffer wrote, “To delay or fail to make decisions may be more sinful than to make wrong decisions out of faith and love.” Even with best intentions and prayerful consideration, I’ve made decisions that didn’t work out so well. But since God knows my heart and my motives, he took those wrong decisions and worked them out for my good.
I’m going to examine people in the Bible who took great risks, and I hope you’ll be inspired to step out on faith and take whatever risks you need to in order to follow Christ and his plans for you!