What is the greatest risk in Christianity? The risk of doing the wrong thing? The risk of saying the wrong thing? The risk of overstepping boundaries? The risk of changing something or doing something that shouldn't be changed or done?
As a kid growing up, those were the risks I was concerned about. "Be careful when doing your work Christian. Be careful that you don't overstep. Make sure you don't speak out of turn. Be aware that you will be judged for your actions and words." These seemed like good rules to go by at the time.
Then I read the story of the talents in Matthew 25. You know the one. A man goes away and entrusts 5 talents, 2 talents, and 1 talent to his workers. After the journey, he returns to find that the workers have invested and doubled his money. All do this, but one. The man with 1 talent says, "Master, I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you."
Fear and worry about the master's hardness, prevented the worker from investing. The master agrees with his servant, that he is indeed a man who "harvests where he hasn't sown and gathers where he has not scattered seed." However, the master won't agree that he is a "hard man." In the end, the master kicks the servant out of his presence for his unwillingness to invest the master's money.
So, according to this story, what is the greatest risk in the kingdom? The risk of overstepping bounds? The risk of saying the wrong thing? Or, could it be the risk of being paralyzed with fear because we don't know the master? The risk of thinking God is "hard" when he is actually generous? The risk of risking nothing?
We are challenged today to risk something for God. To speak when we need to speak, to make changes when they are appropriately needed, to be bold as he has called us to be, to start new things and do new things that are worthy investments for the Lord. We are cautious in our investing. We are aware that we work for the king and handle his money, which he has entrusted to us. We know not all things belong to us, and so we leave those things as they are. We recognize there are things that God has entrusted into our hands, talents that he wants us to invest. We are forever cautious to invest wisely. But we also realize that the greater sin is not the sin of doing or saying too much. Rather, the greatest sin is doing or saying too little!
For more on this subject, check out Lucado's book, Cure For The Common Life.