Acceptable Risk

For I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to accompany us and protect us from enemies along the way. After all, we had told the king, “Our God’s hand of protection is on all who worship him, but his fierce anger rages against those who abandon him.” – Ezra 8:22

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One topic that I have discussed with some former overseas colleagues is the concept of “risk.”  In particular, we have pondered what might be considered acceptable or unacceptable risk as we carry out the mission that God has given us … sometimes in less than favorable circumstances.

All overseas personnel (short or long-term) take risks. In my opinion, some of these risks are necessary, but not all. For example, if a person has been led by God to accomplish a ministry, then it might be considered “risky” to fail in the accomplishment of that ministry. At the same time, to take unnecessary risks in order to appear “super-obedient” would also lead to failure.

Like everything else, a Christ-follower should always ask, “If I do this, who will get the glory? Me or God?” There is no benefit in martyrdom, if in the end I am the one being lifted up instead of Christ; therefore, the only acceptable risk is that which ultimately glorifies God.

It is not the punishment, but the cause that makes the martyr. – Augustine

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