Risk and Growth

Today I read Genesis 29-31, Luke 12, and chapter 11 in the book Integrity. Growth and risk are two themes that keep recurring to me this morning. Jacob took a risk working for Laban because he had the goal of marrying his daughter Rachel. He worked 7 years for the right to marry her. He was focused and motivated and because of that motivation the scriptures say it only felt like a short period of time. He was driven by the outcome and his view of the future. Even when he was tricked into marrying Leah instead, he still committed to working another 7 years for the right to marry Rachel. He loved her so much that he would give his time and efforts to be with her. Sounds like the makings of a great love story!

Now the story is not without its problems. He gets caught in a child bearing competition between the two sisters that ends in him having 13 kids and 4 wives (each sister had him marry their servants so they could have kids through them). As we see later in scripture this caused some problems between the children which eventually ends up in Joseph getting sold into slavery to Egypt. So we have a guy who was not successful in everything he tried but he still ventured out and took some risks and had faith that God would sustain him. When it came to getting some compensation from Laban, he asked for the sheep that were blemished (spotted) and even though Laban tried to trick him again by taking those sheep and hiding them. Still Jacob was able to breed sheep that were stronger than Laban’s and increased his wealth.

This story combined with what I read in the Integrity book has me thinking about my own growth and willingness to risk. I have learned a lot about risk over the past couple of years and what risk does to shape my faith and help me to grow as a person and follower of Christ. But I really need to think through how I am growing and developing so I don’t just sit back and cruise. I want to continue to grow and develop and what I find is there are times that I wait for others to catch up or to give the ok before I try new things or stretch myself. I want to be the kind of person who has great faith in the Lord and is only worried about what God thinks about me. That way I can move forward with passion instead of waiting for approval to “know” that something is good or moving in the right direction. I need to trust my convictions and intuition more. That doesn’t mean I don’t listen to wise counsel or seek others out, but it does mean that I don’t use others or my need for approval as an excuse for not moving ahead and growing.

I want to give this idea more thought and look for ways to further develop the passions God has placed in my heart.

Lord, help me to be a man of faith who takes risks for you. Help me not to get too comfortable or too rigid to make the changes that need to happen in life and ministry. Amen.