Risk Assessment

Michael Beck

“And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?” (Genesis 25:32)

We are assessing risk all the time. We weigh whether the benefit to be gained down a given road is worth what we might lose. Sometimes, we set off with the sentiment, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Risk assessment is part of life. So very few things in this world are a sure bet. Most of the time men roll the dice, and see what happens. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

But there is one risk that is never, ever worth taking. When assessing any action it must be the uppermost concern in our mind. The wise in heart ask this one question at all times: “Will this action offend God?” If the answer is “yes,” it is simply not worth the risk. To lose the smile of God over our life should be our greatest tragedy. Nothing we can gain at the end of any path can make up for the loss of God’s favor. “… In his favour is life” (Psalm 30:5)

In a moment of temptation we can forget our God. Our body and soul can scream for us to satisfy its immediate craving. And when a passing lust is fulfilled what are we left with? An empty soul, an accusing conscience, and the sickening question: “Was that worth it?

No, nothing, absolutely nothing, will ever be worth offending our dear God. Don’t take the risk. The birthright of His presence is too precious.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.