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Risk-dodging: the hidden irony

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By Dave Henning / May 5, 2019

“There are no great stories of a faith that was risk-free.  Risk-dodging can be a way of giving up before the journey even begins.  Yet there’s a hidden irony: playing it safe turns out to be the greatest risk you can take.”- Kyle Idleman

“Yet [Abraham] did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”- Romans 4:20-21 (NIV)

As Kyle Idleman continues Chapter 1 of Don’t Give Up, he stresses that courageous faith, like that of Abraham and Sarah, requires risk-taking.  However, as philosopher of science Larry Laudan writes, we live in a fear-driven society.  As a result, we suffer from what Mr. Laudan calls ‘risk-lock’.  It’s a gridlock condition that renders us unable to do anything or go anywhere.

Most noteworthy, Mr. Laudan concludes, in reality everything involves risk (emphasis author’s).  Thus, the notion of ‘risk-free’ anything is a myth.  Hence, as Abraham and Sarah found out, faith usually isn’t sedentary.  It always sends us somewhere.  Therefore, Kyle presents two questions he finds himself wrestling with:

  1. Am I following God in a way that requires faith?
  2. Do I do anything at all in my life that requires courage and confidence?

Furthermore, Kyle observes, risking faith always has a story attached.  He explains:

“A story of faith is almost always a ‘don’t give up’ story.  A story of pushing through and refusing to put the puzzle away even when the picture isn’t clear. . . .  It’s a determination to act on what needs to happen rather than dwelling on how something happened.  Like Abraham’s story, all stories of faith reach an intersection where a decision must be made between playing it safe or taking a risk and moving forward.”

Today’s question: Do you tend to engage in risk-dodging or in a risking faith?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Faith – rarely measured by earthly success”

About the author

Dave Henning


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