Wednesday, June 6, 2012
When not to risk
First, we shouldn't take risks because someone else is doing it. I have not been called to live someone else's life, and because of that, there are risks others will take for God that I will not be asked to take. For some reason only Daniel, not his three counterparts, was the only one thrown into the den of lions. Meanwhile, it was Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were thrown into the furnace, and not Daniel. Why? We don't really know, but let me assure you that taking a risk because someone else does can get you into a lot of trouble.
Secondly, we shouldn't take risks so we can look good. It has been my observation that this is pretty normal in the church today. We give a little more, do a little more, and extend what resources God has given us (time, talent, treasure) too far. This isn't necessarily because God has asked us to, but because others will think we are "spiritual" if we do. Taking risks to look good for others might work for a time, but when it becomes apparent, and there's a good chance it will, that your risks are selfish in nature, you will be seen for what you are; a hypocrite.
Thirdly, we shouldn't take risks to prove our faith. I think this is the most common mistake when it comes to risk taking. I have fallen into this trap myself, and not only did I fail, but it really cost me. When you do things to prove your faith, and then your faith isn't vindicated, what are you left with? In my case, it was a lot of questions and piles of bills I couldn't pay. (God delivered, by the way, but not until I had learned a pretty valuable lesson...and payed off some of those bills!) We are tempted to prove our faith to ourselves, our friends and family members, and those in our church.
So when should we take risks? In short, we take risks because God has led us to do so, to bring Him glory, and to prove Him. These are in direct contrast to the reasons we don't take risks. Any risk of faith I take must be primarily vertical, because of God and for God.