Putting aside the occasional storm of the century or most recent Hollywood end-of-world movie, how often do you think about RISK? Do you wake up wanting to take more risks, or wondering how to avoid it? How do you even define risk?
As a community of believers and people who are seriously investigating the bold claims of Jesus, we should regularly ponder this notion of risk in our lives.
Culturally, we tend to romanticize risk as something taken on by potentially heroic people hoping to receive a great reward. But rather than looking to culture to define risk for us, perhaps we can instead discern how risk is defined in light of the gospel.
When God calls people to take on small or big tasks, they are not promised comfort, success, or even the continuation of earthly life! In fact, the call to follow Christ is defined in terms of risk. Jesus himself warns us in Luke 14:27-33 to seriously consider the cost of being his disciple!
Why does he use an entrepreneurial endeavor—building a tower—to illustrate the risk of following him? Building a tower in Manhattan is something that happens all the time, but in biblical times building a tower was a rare yet very public project. A large project would have required a vision to attract the pooled resources of a community. You had to invest and risk important resources such as your name, your family’s name, money, time and relationships in order to bring about gains to society. If you failed, aside from the losses and debt to others, you’d be mocked and look foolish.
But the great paradox of the gospel is this, that while we are being asked to “risk” our lives in faithful service to Christ, it is because he first willingly laid down his life for ours. Whether or not our earthly risks succeed or fail, do we see the beauty of the gospel freeing us to take them—trusting that the ultimate outcome rests in the hands of a Sovereign God who cares intimately about the flourishing of individuals, communities, and, yes, the entire world? And not only does he care about this flourishing, he transforms us so that our faithful venturing might somehow play a part in his work of renewal!
In every endeavor we undertake, as entrepreneurs, investors, and workers across every sector of society, upon what are we basing our risk assessment? Only by looking at the cross are we transformed to take on risk as part of our faithful response to the love of the Father—to go where he calls us, to work in the field he’s placed us, to build new ventures, to materialize visions, and to serve out of an overflow of love. Are you equipped to correctly define, assess, approach, and deal with risk? Join our Ei community for this year’s Forum on April 5-6 as together, we consider RISK: Faith or Folly.