Christmas 2021 #2 Peace overcoming Safetyism
Christmas 2021 #2 Peace overcoming Safetyism
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
Playing it safe stifles your growth. To grow physically and emotionally you need to be challenged. You need to be confronted with difficult tasks. You need to explore, discover, and solve. You are not fragile, you need the trials. testing, and tribulations to mature. Mom, Dad, your kids are not fragile.
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
Matthew 10:16 (NIV)
I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
Play it safe and you will not go out on God's missions. You will not seek to do God’s will. You will be like the servant who was entrusted with $100,000 and hid it in the ground (Matthew 25:14-30). By choosing to play it safe the servant lost everything. There is no faith without following, following means obedience to God’s way, no obedience results in no peace with God.
Go all-in with God. Stake your life on His promises, that even if you are slain, there is life eternal waiting for you (John 11:25). Come out of the shadows, come in from the fringes, and be a lover, you’ve been empowered to be one (Isaiah 43:10). Give yourself away (John 15:13). You are God’s special gift to the world. He manifests His love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and provision through you (1 Corinthians 12:7-12). Take that stand for what is right, for Kingdom values, and don’t worry about what you’ll say, the Holy Spirit will inspire you (Matthew 10:19). Don’t allow yourself to be cowed into being silent about your faith (Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:9). Have an answer ready to those who would question the way you live your life (1 Peter 3:15-16). Will there be opposition? Of course, there will be (John 16:2)! Don’t avoid being God’s ambassador by playing it safe (2 Corinthians 5:11-12).
Playing it safe steals your autonomy. You become like your five closest friends (1 Corinthians 15:33). The urge to conform is powerful. That makes you susceptible to groupthink, to the false consensus effect. The effect creates the conviction that “if the people around me think a certain way, then it must be right.” You convince yourself that everyone should think and behave like us. You are not a clone, you need to seek out the truth for yourself, not accept someone else’s opinion on what is right. If you are not true to your calling, your uniqueness, there will be no peace with yourself.
The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.
When was the last time you got out of your safety zone and into the danger zone?
You get into the danger zone by searching for the truth (John 17:17, Psalm 119:160). Suspect that if everyone believes the way you do then you may have been captured by consensus bias, groupthink (1 Corinthians 10:12). If you think you are right, then, search out someone who has a different opinion, listen, seek to understand why they disagree with you. Look through their rose-colored glasses, you won’t have to keep them on. In doing this you gain an understanding of both sides of the story and you just might find a better way than either your or their opinion.
My dear friends, don't believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.
If there are lying preachers, I think it’s safe to assume that there are others who are deceived also. Examine what you hear, what you read, evaluate all in light of scripture and your experience. Test the validity of what the crowd is saying. Delve into the agenda of some particular thought or movement before you sign up. Don’t be a parrot, dig deeper than the headlines. Checking your sources is important. Confirming that your thoughts are your own and the ramifications of those thoughts are in line with Kingdom values is more important (Romans 14:5). You have been given the gift of a sound mind and the ability to choose (Romans 12:2, 2 Timothy 1:7). If you let others think and choose for you, you’ve surrendered yourself, you’ve let them steal your autonomy. Don’t lose your peace by playing it safe going with the flow.