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risk and reward

When it comes to investing, most of us understand the relationship between risk and reward: the lower the risk, the lower the reward.  As risk increases, so does the possibility for a greater return — or a greater loss.

The same is true in other areas of life.

Many start-up ventures fail because the founders were reluctant to take any risks.  Or they took a great risk and experienced a great failure.  On the other hand, we enjoy the benefits of great companies who were willing to risk everything and succeeded.

Healthy, growing churches know when to minimize risk and when to venture out into the great unknown.  To walk by faith and not by sight is risky.

Christ-followers who help other people find their way back to God risk rejection.  They do so because they believe the reward is worth the risk.

In marriage, love requires risk.  Although we’ve been disappointed in the past, we trust again.  We extend forgiveness when our human instinct might be to dig in and fight.  Love is risky.

As we grow older, financial planners would have us move our money into safer investments.  Take more risks while young, become more conservative as you age.

This might be sound advice when it comes to money; when it comes to life, I’m not so sure.  Do we want to play it safe when it comes to business or faith or love?  Or do we want to take the risk, experiencing the highs and lows and hoping the highs far outweigh the lows?

I’ll close with a Robert Schuller quote (now there’s something you don’t here me say that often):

“I’d rather try something great and fail than to do nothing at all and succeed.”