Is your life too safe?
People who risk much can win much, but do we really risk anything anymore?
Our personal existence in North America is really one of comfort and avoiding conflict which does not always lend itself to good results.
Naturally I should mention that to risk something just to risk something is not always a good idea. We all know people (or are people) who risk much for things that shouldn’t even be on their priority list at all, and sometimes we risk much and stretch ourselves emotionally or financially for things that are unimportant and we all need to watch out for that. But for the most important things how much do we really risk anymore?
If your marriage could be saved by a sheer expenditure of energy and time would you even dare to do it anymore?
How much you and I risk comes back to the Code you live by. We tend to think that risk has to do with sheer guts and idolize individuals whose courage drives them to jump when others won’t, but maybe courage isn’t the only thing involved here?
“If people treat me nicely then I’ll be happy today”… Not a great code to live by. What happens when they’re not? You won’t be happy?
“My goal in life is to make money and that’s it!” Terrible code! Are they going to bury it with you? What happens when an honest decision would leave you with less money? We all know what happens and that’s why we don’t trust money-driven people.
How would someone who knows you best sum up your life if they had three sentences to do it with?
“He always plays it safe” “She is afraid of commitment” “He knows what he doesn’t believe in, but I’m not sure he actually believes in anything” Some people’s code is simply “Don’t tell me what to do!”
Success sometimes comes down to how much risk you are willing to commit to for your objective to be accomplished. Simple as that. You don’t get to the top by playing everything safe and lacking the fortitude to make gutsy decisions. Your code has much to do with that.
You will only risk what your code allows you to risk.
The purpose of the code is to bring fortitude and focus in the face of opposition and distraction.
Your code tells you it’s ok to say No to non-essential relationships to say yes to the ones that matter most. People will oppose your decision making but will you back down and give them more influence or time than your own marriage partner has? You will constantly be distracted by things that don’t really matter but if an opportunity gets an automatic “Yes!” because you don’t want to miss out on something or disappoint someone, you will be saying no to the people who matter the most. There’s no way around it. You WILL disappoint someone so you might as well create a code that is aggressive enough to handle the storms of life coming your way and let you say “NO” so you can overcome in the struggles that matter.
A story that inspires me from the Scriptures is that of the life of Gideon.
In reading this several times this week I’ve realized a couple of vital principles that gave him success in the face of overwhelming military odds against him (450 to 1). It’s a fascinating story starting in Judges 6 that you should look into.
1. The enemy is not really the enemy.
Look, if it’s not THIS crisis it would probably be the next one. Sorry for the bad news but we can’t just bury our heads in the sand and hope our circumstances are always rosy. If it wasn’t this financial pressure it would be your relationship with your son or ….. (fill in the blank).
The issue is our complacency. Our lack of fortitude and focus in the face of opposition or distraction. Enemies to a purpose filled and healthy life are always present but it is really our resolve that is the problem. You cannot have a meaningful life without mountains to climb so you can choose to quit being offended with the mountain itself and work on the only thing you have control over (YOU), or you can live the life of a victim.
Heroes only rise out of chaos. When everything works out nobody looks for heroes because we don’t need them. Pressure and the odds-against causes courage to rise up, but only if the code we live by allows for it.
2. God told Gideon “Go with the strength you have”
If you won’t, you will lose. God can’t help someone who doesn’t actually GO. We sit around waiting for someone to walk in and save us but faith doesn’t sit and wait for help that’s not coming to where we are. You and I actually have to get up and go as far we can before our strength gives out. That requires faith and faith is met by God halfway. Luckily His halfway is worth a lot more than ours.
My parents packed us up and moved to Pasadena California over 30 years ago because God told them to. Their lives were too safe and they became discontent with all the success their careers had brought them. They started asking alarming questions like “If I really followed Christ, what would it look like? What would it cost me?”
Their gutsy decision has transformed the lives of thousands of people, including my own, but they had to let God rewrite their code first. Their code is the basis of my code. It is also the basis of the code we are writing at Venue Church right now…
It is gutsy. It will definitely offend some people. It is pointed. It is funny and sarcastic. It will give us the courage in the future to say No in the face of opposition and distraction to the things that aren’t the most important things. It is not safe and that’s why I really like it:)
I’ll give you one of the statements now:
“A life saved is worth everything”
Jesus’ life for my life.
My life for your life.
Your life for the next life.
It is risky. It is likely to cost us everything, but I would rather risk it all than live a life with no meaning and no purpose!
It will provide focus and drive us to great deeds because we have decided to follow Jesus and see what happens!
“Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!” 1 Samuel 14:6
Is it time to rewrite your code?