There are two extremes when it comes to risk taking. Some of us are content to play it safe, while others have no fear. But it’s also true that without risk there is no gain. As Christians, how does our faith impact the decisions we make? Is there such a thing as faith filled risk taking?
When it comes to things like career, health and relationships we often wrestle with God about our choices. But at what point does our risk taking become foolish? Does God respond to our risk or does He respond to our faith? What role does risk taking play in our personal growth?
Christina Dean leads the organisation Uniforte, and specialises in business and change management. Christina is a coach and mentor whose experience of God in business has inspired her success. She recently joined us on 20Twenty to discuss how to determine what level of risk is best for you.
Because God designed us to grow, Christina thinks we are all predisposed for risk taking. There can be no progress without risk. However when it comes to risk taking, some people will take a defensive stance, while others will handle the risk and seize the opportunity before them.
“It’s important to start making plans now,” says Christina. “In this changing economy, it’s really quite critical for organisations and families who are still riding the wave. It will flatten out shortly and people need to start getting ready. They’ll have an advantage if they have prepared in advance.”
Christina believes businesses who are only acting in the moment will flounder and falter because they don’t have a long term strategy. Now is the time to discuss what’s coming and work out how to get through it. It might involve things like trimming the budget and cutting back, but it has to be a team effort.
“The Australian Risk Management Standards defines risk in terms of uncertainty of objectives,” says Christina. “If you want to have a home and a car, you will work towards that. The uncertainty about whether or not those objectives will be achieved is how well you plan for them.”
Everyone is responsible for their own level of risk management, because there is an element of self-preservation involved. If one family member loses their business, another member of the family may also be responsible for the debt. Communication is vital when deciding on the level of risk.
“The book of Ecclesiastes expresses it beautifully,” says Christina. “It’s all about one generation outdoing the next. Yet it was Eve who was the classic risk taker. She knew the rules. She shouldn’t have taken that piece of apple, but she was tempted by Satan. It was a huge risk, and a bad decision.”
The Bible is full of stories about the cycle of peace, sin, oppression, repentance and deliverance. Christina says we need to make sure we are doing the things that God wants us to do. We need to be careful to make choices that don’t risk our health, our finances or our relationships.
“This is where faith comes in,” says Christina. “It’s very hard to come back from devastating circumstances like losing your job or your home. If you have that moment by moment relationship with the Lord, you know He’s there for you. All you have to do is put out your hand and ask for His help.”
We all lose our confidence from time to time, but Christina says she has learnt that faith is not something that we have to develop. It’s something that God gives us. And we can keep asking for more. If you’re digging yourself out of a hole right now, faith equals courage to move forward.
“God says to Joshua, be determined and confident,” says Christina. “That’s an instruction, not an invitation. Stop worrying about what you think you feel, and put your trust in God.”