Today’s topic is a little controversial, even to me, but we think it is on target. It’s foolish to do something negotiable without counting the cost. It is foolish to NOT do something non-negotiable whether you have counted the cost or not. This is recklessness. I have decided, I need to live life with more recklessness.
At the end of the podcast we give a little more than usual update for CalibrateMission Africa for those who are a part of this community.
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I was a mild-mannered, shy kid. When we played Batman and Robin, I wanted to be Robin, less responsibility and decision making. I’ve always been more of a Scotty than a Captain Kirk. I like to please people, I value too much the applause of people. Those are the devils in my closet, that is the wiring I must overcome, and I know it.
As a leader, when I need to bring gentle, pastoral correction to someone, I have a hard time because I don’t like telling people things they don’t want to hear. I don’t like confrontation. I would rather suffer wrong than make my offender feel uncomfortable, not because I’m afraid, but because my default is people pleasing.
Just because we are challenged by our default wiring doesn’t mean we cannot step up to the plate and lead. I’ve done that. I’ve pushed those feelings down when I needed to and been a successful leader.
Throughout my life and ministry leadership the recurring word of the Lord to me, through many different people and circumstances has been the word “BOLD.” I’ve embraced that word.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”” Joshua 1.9 ESV
To lead, to make a transformational difference in the world, to advance God’s agenda according to his call upon our lives requires BOLDNESS.
I was at a pastor’s prayer summit a couple of weeks ago. I came away from that summit with another word and a greater determination…
The word is RECKLESS.
Yes, that’s right, I am saying that my directive is to be RECKLESS.
Sometimes, when something needs corrected, you have to go beyond the norms to reset your default. Even as I write this I hear the voice of reason that my come from some of my friends saying, “God does not want us to be reckless, he tells us to count the cost, recklessness is foolishness, this is a dangerous word.”
My “people-pleaser” mode is kicking in and trying to talk me off this ledge, but RECKLESS in my encouraging word in this season of our journey.
What does “reckless” mean.
There’s been some controversy over the use of the word reckless in a popular song about the “reckless love of God.” I don’t care about that controversy. I am only looking at what this means to me, to us.
“Reckless” is an adjective. It means, “Without giving thought or care to the consequences.”
It’s etymology is from the Old English. “Reck” meant care. I is an archaic word that means to pay heed to something. I think of the word “reckon” or “reckoning.”
To be reckless, then, says to me that I must do less reckoning, less calculating. I am good at calculated risk, but not good at recklessness… or… maybe I am.
I need to live a little more recklessly. A boldness without caring about the consequences or thinking about the consequences.
Sometimes you must disregard the consequences.
That does not mean that you need to be unaware of the consequences of your actions, but sometimes you must disregard them.
Sometimes I cannot care about the consequences because I cannot gauge or control the consequences, I can only control my action.
Think about a time you made a choice to do something that was reckless simply because you really had no choice and did not have the luxury of time to think about it.
The story from the book of Daniel about the three Hebrew young men that would not bow to the king’s idol. The penalty for failure to bow was being thrown in the fire. They said, “Oh king we will not bow to your idol, our God is able to deliver us from the fire, but if he does not, we still will not bow.”
Cowardice would say, “Just bow, God will understand and you can seek forgiveness later, just bow.”
Sometimes you have to do something without caring about the consequences.
Second, sometimes you just have to do something without caring about the consequence.
Sometimes, the thing you must do is so important that there is no need to give thought to the consequences. The consequences don’t really matter.
We’ve fought through a lot of things on our journey of obedience to God in simply believing God was asking us to go to Africa and be who we are to strengthen our leaders. We don’t see it as a sacrifice, but as a privilege. I do not know what we will need to do about our home yet. I do not know how the finances will come together or what we may need to let go of before it is over. I simply do not know.
We know what we are supposed to do, we have counted the cost as much as the cost is countable, but there are something we cannot RECONCILE.
Recklessness could be the opposite of counting the cost.
This whole Africa thing is frankly a little reckless. No, it is reckless.
Being willing to lose your life, as Jesus suggested, that we might gain our lives as a result of our decision to follow him seems to be a reckless decision.
It is reckless to speak the truth in 2019 because it might cost you too much or cause you harm.
I am going to live more recklessly than I have before. In other words I am going to choose the path I know is right without caring about or thinking about the consequences.
I calculate way too much.
Put the calculator down.
Doesn’t matter what it costs, it is what we must do.
The great commission will not be fulfilled with our spare time or our spare change.
It’s foolish to do something negotiable without counting the cost. It is foolish to not do something non-negotiable whether you have counted the cost or not. This is reckless.
Jesus’ actions seemed reckless, depending on how you define reckless, not because he did not consider the cost, but because he did not allow his personal preference of avoiding the personal consequences of the cross, he cared more about the global outcome than he did about the personal consequences.
I am a little tired of tiptoeing around truth because it might offend someone. I’m a little tired or pulling punches because there might be consequences.
See I’m not talking about doing the wrong thing, acting wrongly, being hateful, or unloving, I’m talking about doing the right thing without being derailed by fearfully over-considering the consequences.
I am not saying I need to go ballistic, I am saying I need to be more courageous, bolder, I need to be a bit reckless.