I love playing games, but not games that last more than about an hour. So when it comes to games like Monopoly and Risk, I’m not a big fan. I just can’t sit still that long. But my kids love long games like Risk. They’ll invite friends over and play a game of Risk for hours. One thing you’ll learn quickly from the game of Risk is the only way you can win at the game is to take risks.
Life isn’t really any different than the game Risk. God created you to be a risk taker. I’m not talking about parachuting out of a plane or running with the bulls in Spain. But when you were born, it took a risk for you to come into this world. You were encouraged by your parents to take a risk and take your first steps. Later in life some risks you took were things like …
- A marriage proposal
- Taking a new job
- Buying a new car
In life you never accomplish anything important without taking a risk. The problem is, as we get older, we are less likely to take risks. The older we get, there is a greater temptation for complacency. We become people who wear our seat belts, watch our cholesterol, fear having children for the sake of getting our hearts broken. While I’m not advocating not wearing seat belts and etc, I am saying that too often we find ourselves taking the easy road even though God created us to be risk takers.
Even spiritually we sometimes preach a gospel of safety. Brian Nicklaus challenged my thinking and asked some tough questions about taking spiritual risks in a post last week called “Is She a Martyr.” Here is what Brian asked, “Do we too often preach the gospel of common sense and personal safety? We are afraid to drive on icy roads to a worship assembly, even though believers in early centuries risked their necks and property to assemble in public. Many today walk barefoot or ride a bike for miles to be with the brethren at given assembly. Many today still risk loss of life and property for assembling.”
“How many parents would be proud of their child who enlists to fight against worldly enemies in foreign land, compared to the number of parents who would encourage, or even allow their kids to be missionaries and live in those same dangerous places?”
God created us to be risk takers. Matthew 25:14-30 tells us about the three servants that were each given a certain amount of talents (money) to care for. Two of the servants took risks with their talents and doubled their master’s money. But the bible says that the third servant chose to dig a hole and hide his talent. When the master returned the two servants who risked something and doubled their masters money were commended as, “good and faithful servants.” The third servant, who had taken no risk and had hid his master’s money, gave this explanation to his master, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. SO I WAS AFRAID and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.” His master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant! …Throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
God created you to be a risk taker, not servants who hide their talents in a hole. Live spiritually the way God created you … take a risk. Quit taking the easy road. Instead of trying to just be “comfortable” in your faith, try taking a risk this week. I challenge you to take a huge spiritual risk this week.
- Serve someone undeserving this week.
- Forgive someone you haven’t been able to forgive (and then tell them about it).
- Put someone before yourself.
- Confess the sin you’ve been hiding.
- Make a phone call to someone who would never expect to hear from you.
- Apologize and say, “I’m sorry.”
- Invite a friend to church.
- Come back to God.
- Give outrageously.
- Tell someone about God.
God created you to be a risk taker and if you’re not willing to risk anything … you will probably risk losing everything.