I recently read an article which asked the question, “Are you taking enough risks?” This is an important question in our work life because without taking risks we will not grow.
While some people’s personalities drive them toward taking risks, many people only take risks in their professional life when forced to do so. The layoffs and furloughs forced by COVID-19 have catapulted workers out of what felt like stable jobs into unexpected job searches. Millions of people found stability replaced by instability with all of its inherent risks. (If you are unemployed, using the best job search strategies will help you to deal with these risks effectively. Here are job search resources.)
If there is any good news in this COVID-19 pandemic, it is that the situation is causing men and women to reflect on what is important in life. Faith, family, and health top the list. But work, also, is important. Not just to provide income, but also to bring a sense of satisfaction and significance to life. How would you answer questions such as:
- Does my work fit me well?
- Does it use the skills and abilities I enjoy using?
- Is my work a calling or just a job?
- Do I believe in the mission of my company?
- Am I excited to be a part of this company?
- Am I growing in my job or have I become stagnant?
- And, most importantly, what is God calling me to do at this time in my life? Am I willing to take risks to follow Him?
The Bible gives us principles that relate to His calling for our lives and the risks we need to take to live those callings. In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the Parable of the Talents in which three servants were given different amounts of talents to invest while their master was away. One servant was given five talents, one two talents and the third servant was given one talent. The first two servants took what were probably some significant risks that paid off and doubled the master’s talents. As we would imagine, the master was pleased. In contrast to the master being pleased with the first two servants, the third servant, who fearfully hid his talent, received the master’s fury and his talent was taken from him and given to the first servant.
We don’t know what would have happened if the first two servants had not been that successful. It is doubtful, however, that he would have been angry as he was with the third servant who hid and buried his talent out of the feat of losing the talent. Instead, the master may have encouraged the servants to learn from their actions and to try again.
As God is our Master and we are the servants, there are principles that we can learn about risk-taking:
1. We must take risks to use fully the talents that God has given to us. The risks God calls us to take might be financial, physical and/or psychological, such as going against others’ expectations for our lives, being misunderstood, and living with uncertainty and ambiguity.
2. The risks that God calls us to take will always be for His glory.
3. Living our calling and pursuing the dreams God has given us will most likely require taking bigger risks along the way.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck