Great Faith Requires Great Risk

Pastor Tim begins the new series about ridiculous faith, centering around Elisha. Like the prophet Elisha we all have risk in our lives.  The only way to have anything is to have risk in our lives- to live to the fullest. Risk and faith, resulting from that risk, makes life more beautiful.

““If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.”

Matthew 16:24 (NLT)

 “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it,

but that it is too low and we reach it.”

Michelangelo

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could say that faith was a no risk proposition?  But life is all about taking risks; if you’re afraid of taking risk, then you’re afraid of life.

On our Board of Directors we have a Mathematician by trade, B.J. Eliason.  He has been an incredible blessing to our church.  He is a strong quiet man.  You might know him because he has run the math tutoring class at our church for years.  I don’t know how many kids in our church have passed Calculus because of him (not to mention the adults going back to school).

His job is in actuarial mathematics.  He helps companies mathematically figure the risks of projects.  He and I were having coffee the other day and discussing the lessons that we have learned over the past several years at our church.  He told me something quite shocking.  You can never completely eliminate risk- every mathematician and businessperson probably already knows this and deals with risks on a daily basis.  You can try and predict the outcome and you can try and learn from it but eliminating risk it is impossible.

 

I had the chance to meet Peter Drucker, the dean of American Business, more than once and had the honor to sit under his teaching.  He had a calling to teach pastors the art and science of business, so he invested his time hanging out with the pastors of Churches Uniting In Global Mission.   Peter Drucker said, “People who do not take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.”   That can leave us to the conclusion that we will make mistakes, no matter whether we are risk-takers or not.

Now in scripture we are taught to seek wise counsel and engage in two-way conversations with those who are mature enough to be involved in it.  It is not always so easy to find wise counsel in a world where everyone thinks they are right and just want to throw rocks.  But when you do find them it is all the more valuable.  You will benefit from reason, wise loving advice, and those willing to get involved in the process to make the best decisions.

Then there is risk. It is a part of faith.  But when your goal is so beautiful that even your failure is a success then you have a winning combination.  Risk is tough but when you are sincerely following Christ – walking with him faith still moves mountains.

“Either life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

Helen Keller

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