I want to speak to my fellow cautious people out there. I’m speaking to those of you who have trouble pulling the trigger on decisions. I’m speaking to those of you who want to make sure your plan is perfect before you take the first step to move on it. I’m speaking to those of you who instinctively ask, “What would go wrong?” when you are considering an action.
Here is what I want to encourage you to do: Try something. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
It doesn’t have to be all-encompassing. It doesn’t have to be something that you commit to doing for the rest of your life. But don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Try something.
In 1 Samuel 14:6, King Saul’s son Jonathan decides to attack some Philistines. It is a bold and risky move that could go terribly wrong. When he chooses to take action, his words to his armor bearer are striking:
“Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.”
Jonathan didn’t know if God would bring about something wonderful, but he knew that it was a possibility. In Jonah 3:9, when the Ninevites repent after Jonah’s message, they say,
“Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
They didn’t know that God would respond to their repentance, but they knew that he might. Jonathan and the Ninevites both could have been paralyzed by asking, “What could go wrong?” Instead, they acted upon the thought, “What could go right?” When we refuse to act without knowing the outcome, we miss out on the possibility of God doing something wonderful.
I have trouble taking risky action, but during the past few years, I have seen wonderful things happen when I prayerfully try things without knowing what results they will bring. With my family, we began reading the Bible together at dinner. I didn’t have a comprehensive plan for how we would do this. I simply started trying it. It has been wonderful to see the results it has brought. In personal conversations, I have begun to put myself out there more and share thoughts that could be helpful to others. God has worked when I have done this. Many times when I am about to step out and take a risk I find myself saying, “Who knows? God may do something wonderful through this?”
If you are wrestling with ways to bring a God-focus to your family, don’t wait for a perfect plan.
Start trying things. Start reading the Bible at the dinner table. Start taking prayer walks. Start asking members of your family spiritual questions. If you are trying to figure out ways to bring renewal into your personal relationship with God, don’t wait for the perfect plan. Start trying things. Begin a journal. Listen to good worship music. Read through a book of Scripture. Read through a devotional. If you are trying to figure out your spiritual gifts so that you can serve God, don’t wait until you have all the answers. Try something. Try Children’s Ministry. Try being a Life Group leader. Try serving as a greeter. Try being a Detour Group leader for Exit83. Try joining the worship team.
Don’t let uncertainty keep you from missing out on what God may do in you and through you.
Every time you find yourself looking at a possible action and saying, “What could go wrong?” take a moment to ask, “What wonderful thing might God do through this?” Who knows?