One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil,
but a fool is reckless and careless.
Our culture today, at least our popular media culture, disdains such a proverb. It celebrates those daring to live on the edge because the one virtue that truly matters is passion. It makes no difference what one is passionate about. One person is passionate about serving the poor; another is passionate is about skateboarding. Each activity has the same value as long as the activity produces a rush.
The bride will dump her cautious fianc and run off with the passionate lover. Obviously the latter must enjoy life more. It is the rule breaker who saves the day, while the rule keeper dies or at least is left without the girl. To be daring is what matters.
And yet, that is what the reckless are not. For if they were daring, they would risk giving up control of their life on their terms. They would engage in the most daring adventure of all – yielding completely to the control of Christ and living fully for the glory of their Maker. They may seem to be fearlessly reckless with their lives, but it is the control of their lives that they will not give up because of fear. They fear God’s control; they fear what Christ would compel them to do.
And they have good cause. For God demands absolute control; Christ demands absolute obedience. All that is promised is eternal life; in this life there is no guarantee what a disciple will be called to do and to experience. Christ does not promise safety; indeed, he says to count the cost. For it is the life of the Christian who turns away from evil – i.e. from the sin that is comfortable – it is such a life which is most “reckless” in this world as it gives into the Lordship of Christ.
© 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org