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Each path we choose comes with a cost. And while it’s tempting to just play it safe, this limits our impact. But maximizing our potential is paid with the cost of many risks. We must be wise and discerning in the risks we take, but we must also avoid the safety trap to become all God created us to be. 

For instance, starting our own business comes with much potential. But we also assume the risks when things are uncertain or fail. Working for someone else brings stability and security. But our talents and gifts might not be fully realized serving the agenda of others. 

This is not to suggest we must all start our own businesses. But it does highlight the tension between potential and risk on the one hand, and safety and limitations on the other. And this is true throughout our life and relationships. 

For example, the potential of deep and meaningful relationships requires the risk of rejection. There’s no guarantee every new relationship will be a success. But we remain alone when we play it safe and don’t put ourselves out there. 

Likewise, offering our unique strength to the world and answering God’s call for our life is an adventure into the unknown. And, at least from a human perspective, this path requires many risks, as God is not likely calling us to a safe and comfortable life. We shortchange our potential when we prioritize remaining safe over living boldly in faith. 

Safety is a trap because it seeks to soothe our fears and promise us security, while robbing us of the full goodness we’re capable of accomplishing. 

In the end, pursuing your potential requires you to accept many risks. And this is the life of faith. Playing it safe gives you a sense of security while trapping you in situations less than God’s best. 

Photo by Aejaz Memon on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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