Luke 19:26 – I tell you, that to everyone who has will more be given; but from him who has not even what he has will be taken away.
I spent my career in the financial world and dealing with risk was an everyday necessity. We called it "risk tolerance" and had to determine how much of it a person possessed when they talked about making an investment. It depended on several factors such as age, financial experience, dealing with worry, need for guaranteed income, etc. In the days when GICs paid anywhere from 10% plus, many people were able to depend on this kind of interest as a major part of their income. Then came the squeeze when rates decreased by half. We started to hear and see more and more advertising about mutual funds and how they are the answer to offsetting low interest rates. For many people this is true. For others the fluctuations in the value of these investments and fear of diversification into non-guaranteed investments is not a tolerable risk.
For a moment, let's transfer this matter of risk away from money and investments and think about it in terms of how we live our lives as Christians. Personally I find myself somewhat conditioned by my career training and have to work at taking to heart the meaning of Jesus' parable in Luke 19. When one of the servants hid the money in the ground and was criticized by his master, Jesus was pointing out that if we don't develop and grow in our love of God and our neighbour, we lose ground like a red-hot coal that becomes black when it is removed from the fire. I find myself needing a strong daily dose of the power of His Spirit in order to try to live in anticipation of where He will lead me and in what situation He will want me to reach beyond my normal comfort level. I know that life is an exciting, challenging and mysterious adventure with God. We can never eliminate the uncertainties and risks even if we take all the precautions in the world. But we can know that nothing can separate us form His love which is shown to us in Christ Jesus, that He answers our prayers for strength and courage beyond our own.
Prayer: Heavenly Father there are so many things happening in today's world which seem to threaten and present risk. Help me to focus on who You are, the power of your Holy Spirit, Your great love and awesome grace. Give me the strength and desire to reach out with Your love in situations and with people in need. Amen.