Be of Good Courage

By Ann Kroeker - Posted at Faith Online:

Faith Online Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in December 2016.

“Please pray for my safety.”

It’s a common prayer request in my circles. If I’m honest, it’s a common prayer request of mine. Last summer one of my kids traveled overseas, so I asked my friends to pray for her safety. When my youngest daughter moved to an urban campus that regularly sends text alerts of nearby robberies, assaults, and carjackings, I asked my small group to pray for her safety.

When I ask for safety, am I not trusting God? Or am I just a fearful person who needs to grow more brave and bold? Some people lean toward safety and self-protection while others are by nature thrill-seekers, adventurers. Do people more naturally drawn to thrills find it easier to choose a courageous path for the kingdom of God? What about those who shrink from danger or fear it? Are they crippled spiritually if they tend to minimize risk in their lives?

The Risk-Averse / Thrill-Seeker Continuum

Giving some thought to where we fall on the safety-risk continuum is a good starting place. It helps us better understand how God made us and recognize tendencies we’ve developed in response to life’s ups and downs. It also helps us assess and adjust our initial reaction to God’s call to action.

On one side, we have the safety-driven, risk-averse people who aim for safe investments, move to safe neighborhoods, buy the car with the highest safety standards, and purchase the service-protection plan for every new appliance. These people prefer to lead quiet lives of behind-the-scenes service; they grow gardens and balance spreadsheets. ...