How I’m Saying Yes to Risk

{By Beth Stiff}

 

As writers most of us, if not all of us, have asked the question: “Do my words matter?”

 

writing friend took that question to an even deeper level by asking, “Am I legitimate in minimizing the reach my words have or am I constraining God by doubting His ability to use my words to further his kingdom?” Of course I know our words matter; especially if God asks us to write them. Obedience to God is rather important in our walk with Him.

 

Yet, I often find myself asking if the words I write matter. My words are simple; not eloquent or poetic. In a sea of many voices mine feel less than. I allow doubt to rule my heart instead of sharing from my heart. I am learning that what a reader wants is authentic hearts, our own voice, not our view of perfection.

 

I may still wrestle with finding my worth in a wearied world of words but I can be confident of this, “He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6)

 

We matter. We matter to Him. Every breath we take and every word we speak or write matters to Him.

 

What if instead we ask God if we are still using our words in the way He intends? Like the changing of seasons, His mission for us could also change. I consider this question as I ponder these words from Jesus in Matthew.

 

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV)

 

There are two words I have zeroed in on from this passage: Make disciples.

 

While one aspect of being a writer requires a trust in God to bring our words to those who need to read them, particularly non-believers or those who have turned away from God, I cannot help but to wonder how writing fits into Jesus’ command to make disciples.

 

cindee re make disciples

 

In the book You and Me Forever by Francis and Lisa Chan, Francis suggests “our lives should revolve around these two words.” He continues on to say, “This command should dictate everything about your life: where you live, where you work, where you spend your money, how you spend your time—everything!” What if He is asking us to risk more? More than we risk when we press the publish button on our blog posts.

 

And maybe you are risking more. (I’m not. It’s rather comfortable from where I sit.)

 

Maybe this is why He gave me the challenging word SELFLESS as my One Word for the year. Could it be this word has something to do with why I have been drawn to the words “make disciples?”

 

God’s all about dying to self and serving others.

 

He’s about making disciples.

 

As Christians, it’s not about us; it’s all about Him. I challenge us to reflect on the depth of what Jesus tell us to do when he says, “go and make disciples.” And contemplate the various ways we influence others for the sake of Christ.

 

In our marriage

In our relationships

In our work

 

We do not make disciples only through grandiose acts of serving others.

 

“True discipleship involves opening up our homes, schedules and resources to others in order to allow them to see Christ and follow Him.” ~~Francis Chan

 

In other words, “Therefore go”  and “allow them to see” Christ through you.

 

That takes bigger risks.

 

I have witnessed how we encourage one another in this world-wide web. Writing and encouragement from other writers carried me through a season without my husband. My heart overflows with gratitude for the ways others held me up when I grew weary. Scripture tells us to “encourage and build one another up” and we need to keep doing this.

 

But what if God has a different and bigger mission for us? A mission to introduce more people to Him. There are non-believers at stake. Are we reaching those who need to discover Christ?

 

I do not know the answer. I do know God’s asking me to go and to allow others to see Him through me.

 

I am not sure how God’s asking this of me will alter my writing and the look of my life, but I know my response must be, “Here I am. Send me.” With that in mind, I am (and may we all be) willing the risk to go and be seen.

 

(photo credit: Cinder Snider Re)

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beth sfiffs phots sep 30 2014Beth Stiff is Simply Beth, or in the least that’s her blog name: Simply Beth. A wife to her Army Reserve husband and a mom of two boys, with her oldest son serving in the Navy, and a mother-in-law too. She a Jesus lover, a family gal who loves her friends, and reading with a hot cup of coffee. Her life is changed, even after 20 years of marriage with a love that grows stronger. But the bottom line, is in the heart. Beth loves the heart things and to speak about the Love that changed her and keeps changing her. She’s the backbone at Outside the City Gate with her superpowers as the Admin Guru. But you can also find her  here, blogging, Twittering, Facebooking, and posting pictures to the Pinterest world.

 

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31 Comments on “How I’m Saying Yes to Risk

  1. Here am I. Send me.

    That’s all He wants. Our joyful willingness to be in that open, vulnerable, kind of scary place.

    And then the adventure really takes off! Oh, what He might do if our hearts and calendars and energies were fully yielded to Him!

    Love this, friend.

  2. Thank you for this, Beth. I have been wrestling with self-doubt lately too and this is a very timely reminder than it’s not about me. It’s about obedience. I always tell myself if there’s even one person who needed to read what I write, it matters, and God will reach that person. My husband and I have been reading You and Me Forever too (thanks to you 😉 ) and it’s been challenging me. In and good way. Keep pressing on, friend. You inspire me.

    • So true, Abby. As I study the Life of Moses with Bible Study Fellowship I am learning much about how important our obedience is. So glad this encouraged you. And so glad you are enjoying You and Me Forever. It does challenge you in many good ways. Blessings to you, friend. xoxo

  3. Oh Beth! These are some great thoughts shared here! Yes, our words matter. They matter to Him and they matter to the people God intends for them to reach. When we offer ourselves to Him, we can count on Him giving us opportunities to serve. He’ll stretch us and grow us and take us to places we never dreamed! Keep following your dreams, asking Him to guide your steps and I know you’ll not only bless others, but you, yourself will be blessed!

    Love, Joan

    • Oh, friend, you just have me so excited to see what God has planned for us. I loved your response to me comment on your post today too because speaking . . . it’s one area I feel God calling me too. Love how He does that. Love YOU. xoxo

  4. You are ready and God will send you! Your words take me to a place of discipleship today and how we just need to say “yes” when God calls. It sure sounds easy. I am praying for you in your journey and find that I am in a somewhat similar situation with retirement looming and new possibilities on the horizon. Love and hugs!

    • Mary, I am so hoping you and I can connect in person SOON as I’d love to hear more from you about your upcoming retirement and how you feel God is speaking to you. You’ve actually been in my thoughts to just make something work for us to meet. Love and hugs to you. xoxo

  5. Beth,
    I’ve been having many of the same doubts…do my words really matter? Am I making a difference in God’s Kingdom? Is this the best use of my time and talents? Thank you for sharing from the heart and for the encouragement you bring. Love your genuine heart!
    Love and ((hugs)),
    Bev

    • Hello, sweet friend. Your comment makes me want to spend time with you. I want to have those deep conversations and I just know our time together would be so fruitful. Grateful for you. Much love and (((hugs))),
      Beth

  6. Beth, it’s so exciting to see what He is unfolding in your life and in your heart! Thank you for sharing so boldly here. May we all be willing to say, “Here am I. Send Me.” I’ll be praying for you! Love you. Heart Hugs, Shelly ❤

    • I appreciate how instead of saying we wonder if they matter, that we wonder if the time is well spent. Because I really do know they matter. But I do wonder if I am investing my time the way God still intends for me. I love how He doesn’t leave us wondering. If we seek Him, we will find Him and He will show us the way. Blessings to you, Ginger. xoxo

  7. I can relate as well. Here I am. Send me, are brave words. We often don’t understand what God wants from us, and when we think we do, we get scared. I pray our faith and obedience is partnered with courage for whatever the year holds.

    Oh friend, your words DO matter so much.

  8. Go and make disciples DEFINITELY feels risky to me too. But I love how you point out that it might involve what we’d consider a “big” thing. I’ll look forward to how he’s going to use you to take risks for him!

  9. Beth,
    Oh, I appreciate your heart and your willingness to risk being seen…it is part of the reason I did the #Yourturnchallenge although it felt risky to me….your words do matter and we never know what God is up to because He’s so much bigger than we can imagine 🙂 Appreciate you, my friend…hugs.

  10. This has definitely been on my mind this week! My language is plain. That’s how I speak. There’s a voice that tells me to leave the talking to the fancy-worded folks. Or that tells me I look stupid for sharing my thoughts. But that’s really not the point, is it? The point is to obey. What a relief!

    • It is a relief, isn’t it, Anna? I don’t think I fully looked at it from that perspective. But yes, we write out of obedience to Him. The rest . . . God’s got it. 🙂 Blessings.

  11. Hi Beth! I think we all have something to give. We might not see it as ‘big’ or ‘as good’ as anyone else, but God never compares. He invigorate and sends. So…toss out that comparison stuff. You’re right where you are supposed to be. With exactly what you should have.
    I can’t wait to see what God will do with you 🙂
    Blessings,
    Ceil

  12. What beautiful thoughts, Beth. I need to read this book and I need to be more open to “change” as God directs…not as I “think”. I’ll be chewing on this for a while. Thank you for opening my eyes and heart to go a different direction…back to Him. Love you friend. xo

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