image via Creation Swap, Jordan Chesbrough
Jim Elliot is one of my favorite missionaries.
He was a missionary in Ecuador in the 1950s, attempting to bring the Gospel to the Waodani people. The Waodani were savages, and violent to those outside their tribe. You can read his journal HERE.
Elliot and his team, who included Nate Saint (you can watch his story in the film, End of the Spear), spent months trying to communicate with the Waodani. They had made some contact, and decided to set up camp in order to build a closer relationship. However, Jim and his 3 companions were killed by 10 Waodani warriors. Jim’s wife, Elizabeth, continued to minister to the Waodani. She encountered much success, as many were converted to the Gospel through the work Jim, his team, and eventually their wives would do.
Jim’s most famous quote is
He is no fool who parts with that which he cannot keep, when he is sure to be recompensed with that which he cannot lose.
But I ran across another, longer quote that is so perfect for modern-day followers of Jesus. It challenged me. I think it may challenge you, too.
“We are so utterly ordinary, so commonplace, while we profess to know a Power the twentieth century does not reckon with. But we are “harmless,” and therefore unharmed. We are spiritual pacifists, non-militants, conscientious objectors in this battle-to-the-death with principalities and powers in high places. Meekness must be had for contact with men, but brass, outspoken boldness is required to take part in the comradeship of the Cross. We are “sideliners” — coaching and criticizing the real wrestlers while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged. The world cannot hate us, we are too much like its own. Oh that God would make us dangerous!“
“Faith” and “safe” are incompatible. Be dangerous. Live courageously.
*image credit: Creation Swap user Jordan Chesbrough
My son is a running, jumping ball of courage right now.
- He rides his 4-wheeler down our front steps.
- He jumped down 3 stairs the other day…measuring at least his height. He hit the floor, tumbled a little, and kept on running and laughing.
- Yesterday, he rode down our driveway (a fairly steep hill) as fast as he could on his little plastic truck…which was definitely not intended to be ridden as fast or as hard as he was riding it.
- He’s not afraid (usually) of talking with a complete stranger.
- He jumped off of his bed. It’s taller than he is.
He just has this courageous spirit in him. And I fight my hardest to not discipline that out of him.
Because seeing my son do courageous things thrills my heart, and I know it’s a expression of his God-given spirit of adventure. And it would be easy for me to discipline that out of him in the name of safety and order. I could demand that he not run amuck, that he play it safe, that he walk (err…jump) a more careful path.
But I am convinced that that’s not best for him in the long run. That’s simply what’s good for me and my sanity in the short-run.
I want to encourage my son to continue to take risks. Stand up to challenges. Do things nobody else is doing. Blaze his own path. Follow his dream. And live out the calling God’s placed on his life. I want to teach my son to live dangerously. It’s much easier to rein that courage in, and point it towards Christ, than to re-program a man to live dangerously. I want to encourage him to be courageous now, and reward those small feats.
David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished. – 1 Chronicles 28:20
Have you ever been encouraged to live dangerously?
Disagree with the idea that boys (and men) living dangerously is a good thing? Feel free to push back! Click HERE to jump in the comments!