When we take risks, particularly ones that advance the kingdom in some way, God is glorified; but we also experience joy. Have you ever done something you knew you were made for? Maybe it was having children or starting a business. Perhaps it was pursuing a creative outlet or serving overseas as a missionary. When we engage in activities that advance the kingdom of God, we will experience joy while glorifying our Creator. Things won’t always be easy, but they will always be purposeful. We will not waste our lives.
By and large, we live in a world that discourages risk-taking. Many of us, knowingly or unknowingly, have been conditioned to take the safe route through life’s twists and turns. I sometimes wonder how many people have been dissuaded from doing risky, world-changing things simply because it wasn’t “realistic” or in line with “the way the world works.”
Not only have we been conditioned to avoid risk, many of us have bought into a narrative that promotes a one size fits all mentality to success. For instance, we’re told if we want to have a successful career, we must train at the best universities. We’re told if we want to live with financial security, we must invest while we’re young and maximize our earning potential during our working years. We are sold youth at every turn through advertising and social media and then spend tons of money on anti-aging products to appear younger than we actually are.
Am I the only one, or does something about the success narrative seem off? Does anybody else feel like they’re being lied to?
Maybe I’m being overly critical of the world’s approach to life and success. After all, I believe education is a gift. My education is serving me well. I also think maximizing one’s earning potential can allow for greater generosity, which is something Christians should take seriously. Furthermore, when people care for their bodies, whether through exercise or anti-aging products, couldn’t the case be made they are simply stewarding what God has placed in their care?
I’m not necessarily opposed to the success narrative. Some of it can be redemptive. My real concern lies with fixating on the status-quo because it can be destructive to a person’s God-given, God-glorifying mission in life.
It’s not wise to avoid taking risks, especially kingdom risks, simply to maintain the success narrative. God has placed us on earth for a reason. We live where we live and during the time we live because God has stuff for us to do. Right now. In 2021.
It would be a regrettable thing to miss out on God’s plan for our lives because we were more concerned about our own plan or the opinions of others.