We humans are naturally risk averse. In other words, we prefer our comfort zones to going out on a limb and taking risks in life that make us uncomfortable.
It’s not a surprise because even the phrase going out on a limb implies a bad result. When you get to the end of the limb, they break or you fall. Either way you hit the ground with a thud.
Think of the person who wants to pick a beautiful red rose. He first needs to brave the thorns.
But, taking risks in our faith is extremely important. All the great leaders and saints in the Christian traditions have realized this. Jesus himself took great risks that ultimately led to his death and resurrection for our sins. St. Francis reformed the Church through his risks. John XXIII took a risk with the Second Vatican Council. Even today, Pope Francis is showing a risky faith can create controversy.
Our faith is sometimes risky. We may have to stand up for it in ways that make us fundamentally or unpopular. Or maybe our beliefs will end up losing us friends or money or influence. Faith is always a risk or at least it should be.
Sadly, in many cases faith isn’t even a real risk. Being a squishy Christian isn’t really risk. Going with the flow poses no threats. But, is that a real faith? Or is a real faith one that goes out on a limb frequently to find new and creative ways to serve God?
In this way, Pope Francis is a role model. He has already changed many conventions, but has also won over detractors and others who fail to see the love and compassion of Christ in the Catholic Church. So, by taking risks he’s furthering God’s kingdom.
So, go out and start taking more risks in your faith. I think you’ll find it’ll strengthen your faith and increase your success in building God’s kingdom.