Risk is Right: Don’t Waste Your Life

From Joseph: This post first appeared on The Story of Hope three years ago when I made a major and risky career change. This weekend, I was reminded of this post after speaking to my young adult group about the fear of risk and the Christian call to not waste their lives. I feel it’s worth a re-post.

I was recently asked by a colleague over lunch:

“Why did you choose this new career path? Why did you leave a regular, steady and safe job for uncertainty? It’s risky you know” I noded and responded, “Because risk is good. All of life is risk.”

What would you do and achieve if you had no fear of risk?

Éole / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Only the dead have no need of risk. Over the years, I’ve experienced significant personal and leadership growth the more I let go of myself and follow God’s leading. Don’t misunderstand me, not all risk is good or right for you.

Don’t risk like I did in junior high school many years ago…

The ‘love’ story that was never meant to be

If you studied in Africa, you’d be familiar with the subject “Agricultural Science”. That’s a fancy phrase for learning crude farming.

While my mates went ahead of me to ‘farm’ behind the building on that fateful day, I chose to sit on the classroom window for a moment on the second floor. Then came this…

Friend 1: Hey Joseph, you wanna jump and come meet us down here?

Friend 2: Yeah jump if you can. I dare you.

Me: Guys, don’t dare me.

All Friends: We dare you. You can’t even do it for ‘Lillian’.

Lillian was my first (and last!) high school crush. I couldn’t ignore a dare for love lust. How wise foolish of me! So without much thought about my future, I jumped… yeah, I jumped for Lillian.

That was the end of my junior high school year. Literally. Broke both legs. Bedridden for several months. Missed my final exams. And my ‘crazy’ love lust story died as well (thank God!).

Risk is right. Better to lose your life than waste it

OK, back to my present reality. I made a career move that inconvenienced me and my family. It was risky (and still is). My colleague was right to think I was beside myself to leave certainty and comfort for uncertainty.

But when God is the One leading you, trust becomes the only platform you can stand on. 

I love how John Piper puts it in his powerful, life-changing book, “Don’t Waste Your Life”:

“Risk is right. Better to lose your life than to waste it.”
“To run from it (God-inspired risks) is to waste your life.”

The one thing that may be missing in your life

People who are committed to living intentionally thrive on opportunities to step out of their comfort zone. They learn to allow God displace them for a purpose bigger than life itself.

Risk is good. Risk is right. If you fold your arms and refuse to take God-centered risk in the cause of living on purpose, you will waste your life.

Taking God-centred risks will take you a step closer to fulfilling your God-intended purpose. It may (will) inconvenience you. You may not see the entire horizon, but each day you learn to trust the Sovereignty of the One who’s called you to live intentionally.

Do you readily embrace risks or are you naturally risk-averse? What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken lately?

Image courtesy of Éole / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

About Joseph Iregbu

I'm a writer, purpose guy, speaker and business consultant. My passion is to help people live with purpose and not waste their lives. I live in the UK with my wife, Temi and our gorgeous Isabel Juda. Let's connect on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Good reminders, Joseph. My natural inclination is to run from risk. I think it’s because (like you) I did some stupid things when I was younger. Yet, I also realize, that God has grown me significantly each time I’ve chosen to step into the risk God is calling me to step into. Yes, it’s all about being intentional with our next move.

  • DS

    I’m definitely risk-averse. I feel a certain responsibility for my family – little did I know that feeling only increases within me each year! The biggest risk we’ve taken has been through work with orphans and adoption. Constant challenges, constant movement, and often misunderstood. Great post!

    • That’s a right risk you’re on to there. More grace!

  • I admit that I’m not often fond of taking risks. I like “control” and there’s not much control in taking risks. Which is exactly why God moves me there- to trust in Him and let go of my perceived “control”.

    This past week my husband and I made a risky investment. I was nervous about it- why spend money? wouldn’t it be better to just save?- we prayed about it and my husband was ready to take the plunge as I was still calculating if we could RISK this investment. A few hours after making the decision, God continued speaking reassurance to me. Today, God is still speaking reassurance and even showing me that the investment is already paying off!

    God is so good. I need to learn to trust Him more! Thankfully, He’s a willing and patient teacher.

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  • I agree that not all risk is right. It takes a lot of understanding and contemplation before taking a risk. If you think that it’ll help to become a better person, then go for it.

    • I love the last sentence. Well said, @anwellsteve:disqus. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Thanks for sharing your thoughts as well Joseph..

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