Read 2 Corinthians 5:1-15
A recent New York Times article states that thinking about God causes people to make bolder choices. A Stanford study showed that reading about God before making choices involving risk caused people to more often choose the riskier choice with the greater payoff.
Similarly, in another study by the same scientists, people were shown advertisements for skydiving, video games and classes on “how to bribe with little chance of getting caught.” For each product people were shown two different ads, one including the tag line, “God only knows what you’re missing!” Interestingly, all risk is not the same – with the added tag-line, more people showed interest in trying sky-diving, whereas there was no increased interest in learning how to bribe.
So, thinking about God can get us to act boldly, but not thoughtlessly.
With confidence in God, we can take risks for the kingdom: starting new ministries, volunteering for things that might scare us (like prison ministries, mission trips to impoverished and/or foreign places or feeding the homeless), talking to people we don’t get along with, leading worship, being on the music team at church; and so much else. It is with this confidence that we see elderly people risk getting arrested for simply feeding hungry people in their cities.
It is also with this confidence that we see people fighting for the rights of all: marching with protestors of injustice, speaking up for immigrants, standing by the side of young women seeking abortions just to make sure they are safe.
What wild dream do you have? What dreams do you have for your church, your life in faith or the Church universal? We can get the confidence to take risks to follow those dreams (and sometimes fail spectacularly) by keeping God in our lives and minds – by reading scripture, praying, being part of a church community. It seems so simple, and yet even science says confidence in God can free us. Reflect: Where do you need confidence? What is the wildest dream you have for your life? For your family? For your church? Write them down, stick them somewhere readily visible, and pray about them today, and each time you see them.
Devotion from A Heart for Reconciliation by Megan Dosher Hansen and Michael Rinehart