If You’re Not Taking Risks, Maybe You Should Be

by | Jun 22, 2012 | Five Minute Friday

I read on Facebook recently, someone explaining why they left one church group for another. They said they changed because things were more comfortable and secure with the new group. It got me thinking. Really? Is that what we sign up for as Christ followers – to be comfortable and secure?

Can you show me anywhere in the Bible where Jesus values comfort and security over laying down your life (John 15:13)? Where He says the top three things to bring you happiness are to be around people like you, make a lot of money, and be secure?

Tell that to the woman in Rwanda who worships next to the one who murdered her entire family in the genocide and then forgave her for it because she loves Jesus. Do you think she decided to follow Jesus because she wanted to be more comfortable? I don’t think so.

And what about the family who gave up everything they had to adopt a boy from Africa? The parents who struggle with language and cultural transitions every day because they heard Jesus say, “When you do it to the least of these, you do it to me.” (Matthew 25:40) Do you think they grabbed onto some comfort and security when they said yes?

Being a Christ follower is risky business.  He says things that are hard like, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Matthew 16:25)

He also says things like “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” (John 11:25)

I took a risk when I decided to follow Jesus as an adolescent. Because my spirit knew that there was more to life than what I experienced in a broken home of alcoholism, drug abuse and sexual promiscuity. 

I believe Him when says he is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). And I will continue to risk, than to follow the empty promises of comfort and security.

Why do you follow Jesus?

Joining Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday with the one word prompt: Risk. And pushing publish on this one is an embodiment of the word itself.

I’m also talking about sacred space over at Journey to Epiphany today. Come on over and join the conversation, link up your post, and read some great writers.


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  1. Sharita

    Amen, sister. It just blows my mind the number of folks that think Christianity = comfort. But Jesus didn’t say “Hey y’all, come with me… This is going to be easy and super fun!”

    It’s hard. It’s a huge risk. But one worth taking. So glad I stopped by from FMF! Blessings to you Shelly!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I laughed at the visual you gave of Jesus saying that, hilarious. Thanks for visiting from FMF Sharita.

  2. Brenda @TripleBraided

    Living in our culture I think it is harder to take risks. We are so conditioned to seek the easy life of convenience and no pain. I am convicted by this often. It is a constant battle. When I was in Africa this past November I realized how their lives are lives of risk every single moment – no knowing if they’ll have water or be able to feed their babies or live if they get sick. Every breath is a risk. Thank you for sharing today!!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Going to Africa put so much of life in perspective Brenda. I wish everyone could experience it. Nice to visit with you today.

  3. jaxchaplain

    This may be your best post yet! Leaving Ur is the hardest, most rewarding step we can take in our walk with God. Faith is all about risk. If you’re not uncomfortable or challenged in what you are doing its probably not where got wants you… 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thank you so much. I think you have been one of most consistent faithful followers. And we are definitely in a place of being uncomfortable on all fronts but with peace so I think its where we are supposed to be.

  4. Laura @ Pruning Princesses

    I love this message. Following Jesus usually feels opposite of safe and secure. And the ways we admire most for their faith, for their joy….never typical, never safe, never secure.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I often say that the Christ-life is like swimming upstream, it feels counter to the norm and takes a lot of consistency to get to the destination.

  5. Theresa

    I love this. Thank you for being bold here. We really have it backwards in today’s culture, don’t we? This is refreshing!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I had a bit of holy fear with this one Theresa, thank you. And thanks for sharing on Facebook, really appreciate your kindness.

  6. Ells....ro elliott

    Shelly…this is so good…when I came to Christ I was kicked out of my house and at that moment lost finishing my last year of college. I am thankful for my conversion…it is a gift…because when He speaks of losing to gain…I have seen His faithful hand…have a great weekend…blessings~

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Oh my Ro, that is pretty startling and mind blowing. I think there is more of a story in there we might need to hear. What we give up seems so small in comparison to what He gave up for us doesn’t it?

  7. Leslie Durham


    • Leslie Durham

      I mean this in a good way. This is fantastic.

      • Jillie

        Amen Sister Leslie! Amen!

      • Redemption's Beauty

        Aww, thanks Leslie. It was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the word risk as the prompt. And then I got fired up! 🙂

  8. simplystriving

    Wonderful, Shelly! Amen!
    It’s an upside down kingdom this following Christ business as we tread against the current. But I would have it no other way. I don’t want to feel like this world is my home…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I say that often, that following Christ is like swimming upstream sometimes. It’s worth every bit of effort to get there.

  9. Sherri

    I am not quite sure that’s what the person’s statement meant, although your interpretation of that statement is certainly one interpretation.
    I, too, am changing church groups, and I like to think its the Holy Spirit nudging me somewhere else. Away from humanly conflict to a safe, secure worship environment where I can hopefully hear God’s voice over the earthly din, be discerning, and then become “uncomfortable” and “insecure”. For some people such as myself, there is so much conflict in just plain life, we don’t need it surrounding us in worship.
    Then again, maybe I’m just fooling myself.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I agree with you Sherri. Sunday worship should be a place of hope, renewal, and restoration that carries you through what life has for the rest of the week. We don’t need to carry more burden than we already have. And the assumption might have been that I was talking about a church we are both familiar with and I wasn’t.

  10. Lynn Morrissey

    The funny thing is, Shelly, that people don’t stop to think that ALL of life is a risk. We don’t get out of it alive. Sometimes I can be so fearful of doing new things or fearful of “what might happen.” Sadly, I’ve been an overly protective mother. Without meaning to, I’ve instilled fear in my child. At any rate, last year, I was reaching for a cup on a high shelf, and it fell and hit my lip. I was miserable with a swollen lip for a few days, and it suddenly “hit” me (literally!) that I could never set foot out of my house, and still, I would not be safe. If just living is a risk, why not risk it all on Jesus? Doesn’t He say to love Him with ALL or heart, soul, mind, and strength? He gave us *His* all, and because of that we have inherited all that is His. He promises never to leave or forsake us. If He goes with us, then going wherever He sends, doing whatever He says, is ultimately no risk, because we have *His* strength, His love, His wisdom, His guidance, His protection. The risk, I think, is in forsaking Him. The risk is not living the full adventure that Christ bids us take. Thank you for always risking bold things and for always making me THINK!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      So well said Lynn. Oh my, you have some riches in the depth of your soul. Thank you for sharing them here.

  11. Jillie

    Excellent word today Shelly. “LORD, help all who are followers of Christ risk today for You. Make us bold and dangerous for Your sake today. Amen”

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Jillie. Hope you are doing well, living bold and dangerously for Him. 🙂

  12. Alba Marrero

    Has that been my problem all along? The reason why I’m so uncomfortable with those who talk a comfortable gospel. Jesus was never comfortable, never chose the easy route, and so early one when I came off the missionfield and people asked me, so what’s next, a teaching ministry? I backed off and thought, is that why one follows Christ, to build a portfolio of experiences to qualify them for tours and engagements? It’s been a long road…..taking risks…..Bless you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, I guess it is a way of seeing isn’t it? Love the way you put that and perhaps it is the lessons lived that gives greater understanding to living into risks.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Eileen, love visiting with you on Fridays. I really enjoyed your post of metaphors as well.

  13. Jennifer Johnson Camp

    Shelly, yours words bless me! This is such a beautiful, challenging post! I always need this reminder. Amen! Thank you, friend.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I think you probably understand this pretty well as one getting ready to step out of her comfort zone on mission! Can’t wait to hear about it.

  14. kd sullivan

    Preach!!!! Last time I checked picking up a cross isn’t very comfortable…Thanks for all of the linky love!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Not for me either Kim. And I should be thanking you.

  15. Vicki

    Time to write a book, sweet sister! Your audience is waiting and of course I am one of those waiting. I am so proud of you!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Vicki. I know I am supposed to but have had so much resistance about it. I am hoping to focus on just that while we are on vacation. Appreciate your encouragement and prayers. Love getting to know Kristin too, what a gift she is, but you already know that.

  16. lolitavalle

    And Oh, for this kind of risk, I may go headlong.

    I remember going to the mountains of one of our islands here in the Philippines. It moved me to the core when I saw the tribes saying verses, singing hymns and all with there happy faces and lice laden hairs and yellow teeth. It would be a sure scare to them.

    But we love them, they are speaking English now, learning hygiene, and living it up for Jesus, in their environment. One will cross 16 rivers and snakes… to go to their village.

    But the wonder of it all, is that their chieftain embraced Education and Jesus…… which was dangerous to offer before. We can let them go on in their system, we fear to usher the city things for these might spoil their ways, and make them envious…… but yes, Christ is lifted up there now!

    That’s a risk but all for Christ.

    Let them mingle with the tribes and they will realize….. being among like-people, even if the church is not comfortable, is better than the missionaries’ life… exposed to all hostility and difficulties.

    (Sorry, Shelly!)

    Myself doesn’t like people who jump churches in seek for prosperity Gospel…. and comfort. Not that kind of comfort.

    If none took the risk, I wouldn’t have learned of the saving grace of Jesus. What about the mountain and jungle tribes…… how will the word reach them…. if nobody will?

    • Redemption's Beauty

      No need to say you are sorry, what you say is true. Being a missionary opens the eyes in a way that humbles one to the point of bowing low in thankfulness, in a way that nothing else will. And this is a lovely story you told here. I hope you will tell it on your blog, it will be a gift to readers.

  17. dianewbailey

    Excellent observations, Shelly! Hope you are having a beautiful weekend. ~Di

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Diane, its good to connect with you and I have had a lovely weekend. Hope you have too!

  18. Kathryn Hill

    Shelly, I am a friend of Debbie Goines and she shared the link to Redemption’s Beauty. I always love your photos and the way you express your thoughts so beautifully. My Associate Pastor shared a similar email with me – 15 Reasons I left the church…my first reaction was why was this person even coming to church? were they looking for God or for a countryclub? It seemed they found fault in everything. Its difficult to encourage people when this is their mentality – but Holy Spirit reminds me the only thing that can change their heart is God’s love and my job is to pray for them and speak truth and love into their lives when I have opportunity, remembering that the road is not always paved with beautiful flowers but that He is walking with us, and He will never leave us! Thanks for sharing your gifts.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Kathryn, love that Debbie Goines. I am so grateful for her. So glad you stopped by and left a comment. And I hope I don’t sound judgemental, it actually made me think about my own motives when it comes to faith issues.

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