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It’s criminal to live cautiously!

Jesus said it, “It’s criminal to live cautiously!” (Matt. 25:26) Yet, here in America, we’ve made a religion out of cautious living, calling it “prudence.”   It’s not that we’re bad for living this way; God doesn’t condemn us for our risk-aversion. it’s that we’re missing out on a life of…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Jesus said it, “It’s criminal to live cautiously!” (Matt. 25:26) Yet, here in America, we’ve made a religion out of cautious living, calling it “prudence.”
 
It’s not that we’re bad for living this way; God doesn’t condemn us for our risk-aversion. it’s that we’re missing out on a life of grace and crazy, joy-filled adventures. We’re missing out on a Christmas tree surrounded by gifts – amazing experiences that result when you trust God as he deserves to be trusted. It’s a question of freedom verses bondage.
 
I like the way Paul puts it to the Galatians, “Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness.” (Gal. 5:16) And “Take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” (Gal. 6:5)
 
How are you doing at this business of living freely? It’s worth looking into the things that tie you down, that keep you living a criminally cautious life. What are they? Here are some possibilities:
  • Past pain you want to avoid
  • Debts
  • Commitments you’ve made
  • Fear has a grip on you
  • Your poor self-image
  • Responsibilities that weigh on you
  • Your lifestyle
  • The way you compare yourself to others
  • Your job or lack of one
  • A relationship
  • You’ve got a legalistic view of God & faith
  • You’re critical of others, but need grace yourself
Whatever it is that is holding you back from the full life that God wants you to have, it doesn’t have to be that way. The first step in getting free is to get gut-level honest with God. Express your heart. He knows what it is that holds you back – why not talk with him and ask for his help in getting free? He made you for more.
 
When I’m discouraged about my own inadequacy before God, I find the example of the disciples encouraging. At the end of Jesus’ life on earth, after all that they’ve seen and experienced, having witnessed his resurrection, what do the disciples do? They continue to struggle with caution! Matthew describes their tepid response this way, “Some held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.” (Matt. 28:17)
 
Isn’t it time that those of us who follow Jesus risked ourselves totally for him? Maybe it’s time to change your cautious ways. Start relationally. All of us need forgiveness and could begin with the risk of asking someone for it. And from there we may move on to the people all around us who are hurting and need our care. Start down the path of truly free living, and the adventures you have will amaze you.

Comments (5)

  • It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…not for being bound by the things on this short list, or others. Letting go of these burdens is such a beautiful thing…

  • “It is our duty and our privilege to exhaust our lives for Jesus. We are not to be living specimens of men in fine preservation, but living sacrifices, whose lot is to be consumed; we are to spend and be spent, not to lay ourselves up in lavender, and nurse our flesh.”

    Spurgeon

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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