03 October 2006

More on Risk: In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

Last week (09.26.06) I shared a post (scroll down to read it) about what the church can learn from Google. I ran across it on a website called Monday Morning Insight that I visit. The post started some good discussion about risk and the church. So, when I saw another article on the same topic from a new book this Monday, I knew I had to include it! May this get you thinking and talking even more. I know that it resonates with me--communicating sentiments that I share. [Follow the links below to purchase on Amazon.com, or click here to read the first chapter.]

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

"Mark Batterson's new book (just out today!) is all about taking risk and avoiding regret. "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day" is inspired by one of the most obscure, yet courageous acts recorded in Scripture (II Samuel 23:20-21): Benaiah chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it. Batterson suggests that your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn't chase. You will regret the risks not taken, the opportunities not seized, and the dreams not pursued.

Need a book that will challenge you to step out in faith and make a real impact, for the Kingdom? Today, I'd like to share a short passage from Chapter 1 of Mark's new book. Mark writes... Unleash the lion chaser within!
In his book If Only, Dr. Neal Roese makes a fascinating distinction between two types of regret: regrets of action and regrets of inaction. A regret of action is “wishing you hadn’t done something.” In theological terms, it’s called a sin of commission. A regret of inaction is “wishing you had done something.” In theological terms, it’s a sin of omission. I think the church has fixated on sins of commission for far too long. We have a long list of don’ts. Think of it as holiness by subtraction. We think holiness is the byproduct of subtracting something from our lives that shouldn’t be there. And holiness certainly involves subtraction. But I think God is more concerned about sins of omission—those things we could have and should have done. It’s holiness by multiplication. Goodness is not the absence of badness. You can do nothing wrong and still do nothing right. Those who simply run away from sin are half-Christians. Our calling is much higher than simply running away from what’s wrong. We’re called to chase lions.

There is an old aphorism: “No guts, no glory.” When we don’t have the guts to step out in faith and chase lions, then God is robbed of the glory that rightfully belongs to Him.

Is anybody else tired of reactive Christianity that is more known for what
it’s against than what it’s for? We’ve become far too defensive. We’ve become far too passive. Lion chasers are proactive. They know that playing it safe is risky. Lion chasers are always on the lookout for God-ordained opportunities. Maybe we’ve measured spiritual maturity the wrong way. Maybe following Christ isn’t supposed to be as safe or as civilized as we’ve been led to believe. Maybe Christ was more dangerous and uncivilized than our Sunday-school flannelgraphs portrayed. Maybe God is raising up a generation of lion chasers."

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