5th March 2011

Risky Business

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Proverbs 22:3; 27:12 (TNIV)

Risk assessment is big business these days. 

UK government scientists have admitted that in 2010 they failed to take the likelihood of volcanic ash into their risk assessment even though they knew that Mount Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland was likely to erupt. The consequences were huge. Businesses suffered as a result of disruption in air travel as well as people having their holiday plans affected. It is, however, refreshing to have honest admissions from government spokespeople. 

Christians sometimes take risks in faith. For example Acts 15:26 tells us that Paul and Barnabas risked their lives for the sake of Jesus Christ. Proverbs 22:3 is not saying that we should necessarily avoid all (non-sinful) risks or that we are able to foresee all possible risks. But it is saying that, in so far as it is possible, it is wise to be alert to possible dangers and to take appropriate action. If we ignore a known risk and just keep going, there is often a penalty to pay. 

We know clearly that when we sin, we risk hurting ourselves and others. Not everything involves sin, of course. The failure to not include the volcanic ash problem in a risk assessment was not sin, but it did involve negative consequences. So with us, sometimes, if we don’t think things through, there may be problems ahead. 

Someone suggested to me once that Jesus took a risk on the cross. The implication was that maybe the Father would not resurrect him but we know his resurrection was secure, as is ours. There is no risk in the outcome of grace. Only certainty because Jesus is our refuge. 

When it comes to our day to day living, be like the prudent person in the proverb. See the danger and take refuge. 

Help me Father, to see danger and take refuge in your Son, Jesus Christ.

Study by James Henderson

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