The paradox in the title of this post is true. It’s a dangerous thing to go through life playing it safe. If you carefully try to preserve your life, you’ll lose it. Jesus put it like this:
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8:34-38)
Give your life away for the sake of Jesus and the gospel, and you’ll certainly save it. In this video clip Francis Chan exposes the folly of playing it safe by using an analogy from the Olympics. As surely as Olympic gymnasts stand before their judges, we will stand before a greater Judge.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Cor. 5:10)
Watch the video, then scroll down for some additional links.
Few people address the subject of risk in the Christian life better than John Piper. Here are a couple of good links:
Don’t Waste Your Life – Chapter 5