Normalize Risk

This morning I came across a blog from Greg Stier about our need to “normalize risk”.
Check out the full blog by clicking here.

This post got me thinking about my own life, and the tendency I have to play it safe when life is going well.

When things are going good, why would you risk ruining that?
When things are running smoothly, why would you take a chance and risk failure?

When things are going well, it’s easy to just maintain the good, rather than be missional and take a risk.

I recently had a conversation with someone who has spoken in front of entire churches while on overseas mission trips.

They told me that they find it easier to speak to big crowds in another country, rather than to share the Gospel with one close friend or family member.

And I agree with that.
It is easier.
Because it’s less risky.

If you are in another country, or speaking to a group of strangers (or even acquaintances), and they don’t like what you have to say, then so what?

You may never see them again anyways (at least not on this side of heaven).
So what risk is there?

But a friend or family member?
What if you tell them about Jesus and the are offended?
What if you share the Gospel and they reject it?
What if you share the Gospel and they reject you?

You may lose a relationship you cherish.
You may make next Christmas really awkward.
You may cause some tension in your entire group of friends or extended family.

There is risk involved.

So what are we to do?
Should we just stick with what is easy?

Absolutely not!

We need to normalize risk!

We need to be filled with grace and truth, and spread the message of Jesus to everyone who needs to hear it!

In Mark 8:34-38, Jesus says this:

“Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Jesus calls us to risk everything for Him.
Jesus calls us to surrender everything we are to Him.
Jesus calls us to normalize risk.

We need to realize that when we choose to keep our relationships comfortable, rather than opening up about the message of Jesus, we are prioritizing that relationship over our relationship with God (and you can read Matthew 19:29 for what Jesus has to say about that).

When we lose our willingness to risk, in favour of just maintaining the status quo, we lose sight of the very reason why Jesus has given us His Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:8).

So today, I encourage you (as I encourage myself), to normalize risk.

Be willing to have that difficult conversation with your friend about Jesus.
Be willing to risk offending your family member and offer to pray for them.
Be willing to lay down your entire life and obey what God is telling you to do.

When we look back on our lives, may we not see the many ways that we maintained the good.
Instead, may we see how we pursued the greatness of God.

And when we do that, we will take risks.
Some of those risks will succeed.
Some of those risks will fail.

But may we be followers of Jesus who normalize risk, in order that as many people as possible would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus as Lord and Saviour.