A few weeks ago a couple of my grandsons were jumping off the couch. Their Mama warned them, “Be careful, boys”. As she was walking out the room she over heard the older whispering to the younger, “Let’s not be careful. Let’s be dangerous!” I laughed out loud when I heard that story!
Those words, “Be careful” roll out of our mouths often don’t they? Just last night, I was with my little grandson, Noah, who was pulling up on the coffee table trying to learn to walk. I found myself, cautioning him, “Be careful, Noah.” But the truth of the matter is, without risk taking, walking never happens. In our lives, as adults the same truth holds true, without risk taking, dreams aren’t realized, businesses aren’t launched, books aren’t written, faith isn’t stretched and prayers aren’t answered.
When a centurion came to Jesus and asked Him to heal his servant, he took a risk. The centurion was likely not raised with faith. He was Roman. But after hearing how many people Jesus had healed he took a risk, found Jesus and dared to ask. When Jesus offered to go to his house with him and heal his servant, the centurion said not to bother. Instead, he declared, “just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” (Matthew 8:8). I love that. The centurion took a risk and dared to believe that Jesus could and would heal his servant. Jesus did heal his servant and also affirmed the centurion for his great faith!
The story of the centurion challenges me. I want to live my life with bold faith taking risks for God. Every risk brings with it the possibility of disappointment or failure but it also brings the possibility of renewed faith and victory. When faced with a possible risk, I can tell myself, “Be careful” or I can step out in faith. I want to choose faith. What about you?
As you consider your tendencies to take risks or play it safe, here are a few reflective questions to ask yourself:
- When was the last time you took a bold risk for God? What did the risk involve and what were the outcomes?
- When given a choice between choosing a change or playing it safe, which do you most likely choose?
- In what areas of your life, do you tend to “play it safe?” (i.e. finances, personal comfort, job transitions, sharing my faith, etc.)
- Think back on history. Who is one hero who took a great risk for God? What can you learn from his or her story? How does that hero’s story inspire you to take a risk for the sake of the gospel?
- What tangible risk do you need to take this week to move forward on a dream that God has planted in your heart?
Today, when Noah pulls up on the coffee table, I’m not going to say, “Be careful.” I’m going to say, “Go for it Noah! You can do it!” After all, my prayer for Noah is that he will be a world changer for God’s glory and world changers take risks!
I’d love to hear from you. What’s one risk you’ve taken recently? How did the choice to take that risk change your life?