The Wickedness of Playing it Safe
Happy Anniversary Ransom Church! It's hard to believe it's been 10 years! Thanks to everyone who joined us for services as we remembered where we have been and celebrated where we are going. And probably the most exciting thing about our future is it isn't just us (as in Ransom Church) that we are celebrating- it's you! It's the priesthood of believers. It's being Disciple Makers. It's kingdom multiplication. It's us celebrating you.
Perhaps you are excited about this, but more than likely, it makes you feel overwhelmed. If you have taken the typical posture of Christians today (at least in the United States), it has been that of an observer. We are truly excited about all the things God is doing in our midst; things we get to see and celebrate on what seems like a weekly basis.
But perhaps it never occurred to you God might want to do something through you. And now here we are, pushing you to ask God what call He may have for you, and it just feels foreign. So it may have surprised you to find out this has always been His expectation. In fact, it's displeasing to him when we don't search out His call.
At our Anniversary Service, we dove into the parable of the talents. I have always been struck in this story by the dichotomy between the two servants who risked it all in what seems to be an irresponsible way, and the one servant who by all rights and purposes played it safe. In our world, playing it safe is the right, good and faithful thing to do. And taking huge kingdom risks is labeled as irresponsible, fanatical and immature.
So why is it that the servant who God gets after, whom He goes as far as to call "wicked" is the one who played it safe? As it turns out, risking it all for the kingdom is God's expectation, and playing it safe is displeasing to Him. Look at v. 16 of Matthew 25:
“The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. (Matthew 25:16 NLT)
Some translations say this man "went at once." There was no hesitation. We see two key signs of the faith of this man (and the 2nd servant as well). First, he was willing to take a big risk for God. He could easily have taken the safe route and buried his talents too. But he knew that wouldn't please his master. Second, he went at once. He wasted no time in investing his master's money- he didn't want to lose even a day's interest. He didn't want to miss today's opportunity waiting for tomorrow to come.
Lee Iacocca was the chairman of Chrysler Motors and led them through the greatest turnaround in company history. He was a man who knew how to take the right risks. When asked about risk, this was his reply:
“Obviously, you’re responsible for gathering as many relevant facts and projections as you possibly can. But at some point you’ve got to take that leap of faith…because even the right decision is wrong if it’s made too late.” “You’ve got to take that leap of faith.”
Now I am not saying risk for the sake of risk or risk for no reason. But what I am saying is that there is no faith that does not involve risk. As Christians, we have placed our faith in Jesus Christ alone. And there is no indication that this call to follow Jesus is a call that allows for us to play it safe. The question is, which servant are you?
As Ransom heads into our next 10 years, I believe God is getting ready to leverage us for greater kingdom impact than we can imagine. In the next 10 years, you will be handed something by your master. And with that call with come His expectation that you will do something with it. Perhaps you have been sitting on God's call for you for years now observing. Said differently, perhaps you have buried your talent. It's not too late to dig it up and do something. Because at the end of the day, the most wicked thing we can do is nothing.