Is the Risk Worth it?

On this day in history, October 24, 1901, Annie Edson Taylor, was the first person to take the plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

The 63-year-old schoolteacher was hurting financially and seeking fame, so she came up with this stunt she thought would grab the public’s attention.

Although a bit battered, Taylor survived the 20-minute journey that violently knocked her from side to side as she propelled over the edge of Horseshoe Falls. After a few photo-ops and speaking engagements, her fame soon diminished and she never made the fortune she had dreamed about.

It’s amazing Taylor survived. Many who’ve tried that stunt didn’t live to tell about it. It’s incredible the crazy things people will do for money or recognition. But we live in a generation that loves to take risks. To gamble. To seek fame or fortune in the most perilous means possible.

However, even more amazing are the risks folks take with their eternal souls. Jesus warned: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt 10:28).

Too many Christians are living in a risky, fool hearty fashion that jeopardizes their most prized possession–their soul.

Paul warned: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Gal. 6:7-8).

Some are taking risks with alcoholic beverages. They claim a little drink won’t hurt. It’s socially acceptable. Everybody drinks, we’re told. Yet, paradoxically, we are constantly hearing warnings about alcohol abuse. “Drink responsibly,” we’re advised.

However, the World Health Organization estimates there are over 200 million alcoholics worldwide. An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes every year in the United States. Over 10,00 people die every year on US highways due to crashes that involve alcohol-impaired drivers. The misuse of alcohol costs the US over $249 billion annually.

Solomon was right when he wrote, “Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise (Prov 20:1).
Is it worth the risk?

Another risk people take involves sexual flirting. This includes not only improper interactions with other people, but what we read, watch and listen to.

How many affairs and consequently broken homes began with an “innocent” meeting alone with the opposite sex? Or a flirtatious glance? Or a suggestive comment? Or a playful response?

The plague of pornography and various sexual addictions rampant in our society today all attest to the dangers of sexually charged magazines, movies, and internet sites.

The Bible cautions, “But among you, there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people” (Eph 5:3).

Is the temporary titillating pleasure really worth the risk?

Spiritually risky behavior may take many different forms. Satan knows our weaknesses and will attack us where we’re most vulnerable. Paul advised, “Avoid every kind of evil” (1 Thess 5:22).

Like Lot of old, we can camp to close to sin. While we may be vexed by the unrighteousness around us, the proximity and pervasiveness of ungodliness may result in destruction. Both physically and spiritually.

The wise man warns of risky conduct when he rhetorically asks, “Can a man take fire to his bosom, And his clothes not be burned? (Prov 6:27).

The next time you’re tempted to engage in something that is at best questionable, and at the very worst is outright sin, ask yourself “Is the risk worth it?”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

5 Comments

Filed under Sin, Temptation

5 responses to “Is the Risk Worth it?

  1. Larry Hafley

    Ken, I pray this article will receive a wide circulation!  It is so true and so much needed.  Thank you for writing it.  Larry

  2. Billie Mann

    As a young girl working in an office full of men I got teased and picked on a lot. I did not realize at the time that it was sexual harassment. When I started dating Cal he taught me a few things and even came down to office to talk to the manager. I believe in todays world that our young women are more informed that in the 50’s and early 60’s. So parents this is something we now have in inform our your girls what ti be on the lookout for, because we are insulated in the church somewhat. THANKS FOR THE POST

  3. Billie Mann

    As a young girl working in an office full of men I got teased and picked on a lot. I did not realize at the time that it was sexual harassment. When I started dating Cal he taught me a few things and even came down to office to talk to the manager. I believe in today’s world that our young women are more informed that in the 50’s and early 60’s. So parents this is something we now have to inform our your girls what to be on the lookout for, because we are somewhat insulated in the church.

  4. Yes Ken the risk is worth it. Taking risks is how we grow physically and spiritually.

    Remember the Woman with the Alabaster Jar. She risked her reputation and her life to bring new wine to a world that loved old wine. She dared to make her love known for Jesus the Prophet in a sexually inappropriate way, in front of Simon, an elder and judge of the Law. Both men knew her well enough to be certain she was a sinner.

    And remember Rahab. She was a Moabite. Her people worshipped Cheomesh the Fish God. Rahab allowed Joshua and his men to breach the walls of Jericho under the cover of darkness. She took a risk many would not have taken and because she did, her reputation was sullied and although she did not die, stories about her circulated calling her a prostitute and a betrayer.

    The risks women take to work and live in a male centred world are enormous. They get sexually harassed and thought of as whores if they dare to flirt back or say yes to a man’s sexual advances. Today, women get sexual advances from males and females and the LGBTQ+ gendered.

    So what do the stories of the Woman with the Alabaster Jar and Rahab convey? Do they convey a double standard? Do they convey the concept that giving hospitality, and engaging in sex, or intimate conversation with strangers is risky?

    Does the new wine that Jesus offers insulate people from the risks and the mockery and the strong old fortified wine that keeps people comatose and too inebriated to stand up and take risks for better pay, better opportunities or the right to have a choice in how one governs their own bodies?

    Women working with 32 genders who flirt is part of the new reality. People are now standing up and charging people who flirt with them with sexual harassment.

    Did Jesus charge the Woman with the Alabaster Jar with sexual harassment ? Were she and her actions tantamount to charging him with an illicit sexual affair or harassment?

    What kind of new life are Christians to expect in Christ? Should Christians expect to live insulated and apart from the world…in a convent as monks and nuns who never eat meat or drink anything stronger than goat’s milk?

    Sex is like meat, wine and strong drink. These things have led many astray and those that have been led astray by these things are not wise.

    And Paul has this to say. “Let no one deceive himself. If any of you thinks he is wise in this age, he should become a fool, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness.”

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