Tag Archives: taking risks

Quit Playing It Safe

I once had a boss whose favorite question to ask in an interview was, “Tell me a time when you took a risk. Did it pay off or not?” I asked him about it one time and he said, “I don’t want people working for me who are afraid to take risks. I’d rather have someone on my team who has taken a risk and failed miserably than someone who was too scared to even take a risk in the first place. At least the person who took a risk learned something. The one who has never taken a risk will never change his results because he’s too scared to try something new.”

He helped me to understand that taking risks is a Godly trait. Each time you or I step out in faith, it’s a risk. Will God step out and move on my behalf or will I fall on my face? We don’t know, but God asks us to do it anyway. I’ve seen God ask someone to take a huge risk and then allow them to fail. It sounds weird at first, but God needed them in a place of failure to be able to grow them beyond what the risk could have ever offered. His reward for their risk was delayed.

When you risk it all for God’s sake, you put yourself in a place that is totally dependent on God. Your risk speaks volumes to God. It says, “I’m not satisfied with what I’m producing for you. I want to do more for the Kingdom and I’m willing to risk what I have for a chance to offer you more.” It’s in those moments that your faith grows and produces more than it ever has. If you fall on your face, you let God know you’re not going to play it safe. If He catches you, the rewards are eternal.

There’s a difference in taking a risk and making a calculated move. If you’ve got a 90% chance of success, that’s not really much of a risk. It’s a calculated decision made to look like faith. God is looking for those who are willing to go all in and risk it all for His Kingdom. In Matthew 25, he gave three different people three different amounts of talents. To the one who risked nothing because he was afraid, the master said, “That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? (MSG)”

Later on He said, “Get rid of this play-it-safe who won’t go out on a limb. (MSG)” God gets angry when we live life with the goal of arriving in Heaven safely with no bumps or bruises. He put the desire for risk in each one of us. We can either take a risk or allow fear to cause us to play it safe. If you know the parable I’m referring to, the ones who risked it all stayed with the master, but the one who risked nothing was cast into darkness. God calls us to live by faith, not by sight. What risks have you taken for His sake? What is He asking you to risk right now?

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Free From Drifting

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It’s Free Friday! Today is the day you let go of the things in your life that keep you down or hold you back. To celebrate, I’m giving away “Great Leaders Grow: Becoming A Leader For Life” by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

I grew up playing in creeks that were near my house. When I would visit my grandmother, we would cross a huge cow pasture and go down to the creek to swing on vines and jump in it. Later in life, I went to the Frio river in west Texas to float down it. I’ve even been to the Nile river and taken a sail boat out on it several times. One thing I’ve learned about creeks and rivers is that they always take the path of least resistance. The get to their destination, but it takes a lot longer than it has to because they twist and wind instead of going on a straight line.

In life, I’ve found that I’m not much different than a river at times. I’ve let my life wander and meander wherever it took me. I’ve lost site of where I was going a time or two. I’ve been beat against the rocks and sent a different direction. I’ve forgotten where I was headed and pooled up at that spot. Something will inevitably happen, the dam will break and off I go again to wherever life takes me. Does that sound like you too? I don’t think that’s how God intended us to live our lives though.

I believe we are to live our lives on purpose. I believe we are to make paths where there aren’t any. God doesn’t want us to meander through life taking the path of least resistance. He wants us to pursue Him and go to the places where others won’t. He wants us to be leaders, not followers. He put in each one of us the ability to grow and the ability to lead. Too often we only think of ourselves as followers because we’re all following somebody. We forget to look behind us and see that there are others who are following us. Don’t believe me? Look at your Facebook page. How many friends do you have following you? Exactly! Some may have more than others, but each of us have someone following us.

It’s important that we lead with purpose and conviction. It’s important that we grow. I heard Harry Connick, Jr. say something profound this week. He said, “Do the things that are hard. Do the things that are uncomfortable and you’ll get better.” He’s saying that we won’t get better or grow unless we’re willing to do things that are not on the path of least resistance. He’s saying we have to do things that push us out of our normal, every day routines if we’re going to grow. If you want a better relationship with God, get up earlier and spend more time with Him. If you want more understanding of scripture, take a Bible course. If you want to be a better leader, force yourself to grow.

I like to tell people that I grow the most when I fail. I only fail when I take risks that put me in position to fail. I also gain the most ground when those risks pay off. It’s all about perspective. Failure to me is an opportunity to grow and get better. It’s a way to learn how not to do something. I don’t look at it as embarrassing or demoralizing. It’s actually energizing and challenging. Whether you fail taking a risk in life or for Christ, you will learn something new. You will find growth. Don’t just take the path of least resistance. Make a straight line for your goal and get there. Paul said that he pressed on for the (not drifted to the) high calling and we should too!

If you would like to win “Great Leaders Grow” by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller, all you have to do is go to my Facebook page here and “like” it. I will randomly pick one person tomorrow (March 8, 2014) who has liked my page. If you have already liked my page and enjoy reading these daily devotionals, you are already entered. Please invite your friends to like my page so they can receive encouragement from God’s Word too.

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