The greatest biblical characters are known to be risk takers. Even in the midst of uncertainty, fear, and danger, they keep going. They are capable of giving up comfort, power, prestige, and security. And they even risk their reputation, their future, and their own life by facing what awaits them. Both the Old and New Testaments are replete with role models that I can learn from when it comes to taking risks.
In the Old Testament Abraham and Moses stand out. Abraham, an older man in better condition, set out for an unknown place with his wife, servants, and livestock despite his advanced age and socioeconomic stability. These are sufficiently valid reasons against any improbable risk. How the hell could he go for such a risky journey into uncertainty? He could have spent the remaining days of his life in comfort and peace.
And there is Moses, the son of a Hebrew family who was rescued, nurtured and educated by the Egyptian elite and power as his own. He was prepared to rule Egypt like the pharaohs. But his life changed when he discovered its origin. He saw the suffering of his own people under slavery. He suffered when he saw the oppression. He committed a crime in defense of his people and since then his life has been disproportionate. Egypt approached him when the sea and the desert were opened to terrifying risks. What led Moses to face countless risks instead of his acquired identity and all the good that Egypt had given him? He could have been better ruling alongside the mighty Pharaoh.
In the New Testament, I focus on Jesus and Paul as models of risk-taking that have impressed me to no end. Jesus, a simple son of a carpenter from Nazareth, left his hometown to announce the Kingdom of God for the benefit of the sick, the poor, the hungry, the oppressed, prisoners and sinners to the point of breaking religious laws for they. . His words and actions were messages of peace, justice and love. He even called God Abba in the same way that a Hebrew son would address his own father, something daring and blasphemous in his day. In doing so, he became a threat to the existing religious structures and ideologies imposed by the dominant religious authorities. Finally, they had Jesus killed to their relief and delight. Jesus took the risks of proclaiming what he believed to be God-given truth. What could have crossed his mind to the point of giving up his own life? He could have been safer and more respectable by following the official religious regulations and prescriptions of his time.
The Jesus who risked and died was the inspiration and model for Paul, who was once a staunch defender of his religion and a persecutor of Christians. His life took a sudden turn when he converted to Christ. His religion, which had given him prestige, power, and holiness, suddenly lost its charm. Their ardor to persecute the followers of Jesus turned into zeal to proclaim Christ within and beyond the borders of their religion and society. He formed communities in the name of Christ. But both the political and religious powers were against him. As a Christian, his life ran a series of risks as he faced hunger, persecution, defamation, and consequently death. What made this devout Paul turn upside down and go through all kinds of trials? He could have been safe and sound under the care of his religion.
Risk takers in the Bible, especially those exemplified, have a lot to teach me. First of all, I learned that everyone had a vision that was above each and every risk. The promised land and the seed consumed Abraham. Liberation from Egyptian rule and the search for the promised land prompted Moses. The Kingdom of God was the reason for every word and action of Jesus. Living and dying for Christ made Paul run the race to the finish. The vision that captured the biblical characters is the ultimate goal, a clear, non-negotiable destiny. The risks that are presented to them are the consequence of an option assumed in view of their vision. In the same way, the endeavors of my life must be guided by a clear vision, goal or dream that gives meaning to each and every one of the steps I take, regardless of the risks that arise along the way. The risks lose their meaning before the vision that sees me go through moments of pain and danger.
Second, I learn that any effort to take risks requires a strong sense of purpose to prevail over risks. It serves as an inner light to remind me why I am doing what I am doing. It inspires me to believe in my own abilities and in the people around me. And when I run out of personal resources and outside help, I have this light within which it is still burning. We can call it courage, determination, concentration or willpower that can go beyond limitations in the face of adversity. Abraham was brave in his old age. Moses was determined to lead his people to the land of the free. Jesus did what he did to inaugurate the kingdom of God on earth. Paul focused on his mission to proclaim Christ between believers and non-believers. In moments of pain, anguish and rejection, they suffered and cried like any ordinary mortal in times of weakness. But they knew the reason for their work and their pain. Risks take on new meaning because of the light that burns within them.
Third, I learn that I have power over the risks God has given me. Call it faith, hope or love, this power is what drives me to victory or success. I sincerely know that my own power is limited, that I tremble in danger, and sometimes lose my courage for one reason or another. I know that I am fragile and incomplete and therefore I need help. When there seems to be no way, when I am depressed, tired and alone on this journey, and when my own strength fails me, I can rely on a backup power to guide me. My exemplary biblical risk takers weren’t supermen. They were able to take risks because of the power God gave them. I just have to acknowledge this power and use it to the fullest. Paul says that he can do everything through the One who gives him strength (Phil. 4:13).
Finally, once I have the vision, the sense of mission, and God’s gift of inner strength, the rest is planning and hard work to the end. And if I do something good that goes against what is ordinary, standard, popular, traditional, and official, then, like Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Paul, I should be prepared to risk my comfort, reputation, safety, future, and even my life. life. After all, taking risks is not a matter of certainty because no one knows the future. It is a matter of surrender and trust in the One who sustains the future. The one who holds me firmly and lovingly from birth to death, whatever happens.