With every decision we make, there are risks associated with that decision. Some wise, some foolish, but risks nonetheless. Some of those risks may involve danger, harm, or loss.
Making decisions that involve risk are a natural part of life. Everything from an infant learning how to walk, a child learning to swim, a teenager asking someone out for a date for the first time, or an adult applying for a job or promotion. In each of these examples, there is an upside to taking risks, and for each person to reach their full potential, taking these wise risks were necessary, not foolish.
An aversion to risk will produce mediocrity
In Ecclesiastes 11:4, King Solomon says, "Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.
Risks will always involve a consequence, some positive and some negative. Many people believe that taking a risk is more negative than positive, but there is a real upside to taking those risks.
Playing it safe will limit your life's potential
In Matthew 25, Jesus gives a parable that shows two very different responses to making and taking risks. We see a master trust three of his workers with three different amounts of money. Two of them take a chance and invest that money, while the third plays it safe and buries it in the ground to protect it from loss.
Risks aren't one-dimensional; they're always two-sided. One side will bring you the opportunity and the other potential threat.
To reach our full potential in life, we cannot play it safe. We should not eliminate risk from our lives.
Jesus gives high praise for the two who took a wise risk saying, "Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together."
And responds to the one who buried the money, saying, "What were you thinking?" There is no celebration here for playing it safe.
Act on the talent and resources given to you
The story we see in Matthew 25 is not foreign to us today.
Each of us possesses unique talents, gifts, opportunities, and resources. It's what we do with them when faced with crucial decisions that matter. Doing nothing results in lost opportunities, and we'll likely never know what we miss out on by inaction.
Invite God into your decision-making process
It can still be easier said than done to take the risk rather than playing it safe, but inviting God into that moment can lift the weight off your shoulders.
Ask God to give you the necessary insight to take an honest look at yourself and your situation as you face your decision.
Ask God to help you see opportunities that might not readily come to mind.
Ask God to help you find wise counsel to support and challenge you in healthy ways.
Jesus' brother James said, "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking"
Risks will always involve a consequence, some positive and some negative. But remember that playing it safe will limit your potential in life, and avoiding risk will produce mediocrity. God calls us to act on the talents and resources we are given, and use wisdom to take the necessary risks that may come.
Making a risky decision isn't easy, but have faith in knowing that God will always be there to guide you. All you have to do is ask.
To go even deeper on the content behind this article, check out the book, What Was I Thinking, by David Ashcraft and Rob Skacel.
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