The risk

Yesterday on Afternoon Tea, we followed up on the previous day’s discussion about fear by talking about risk. A lot of fear is in response to genuine risks. We had already seen that life can never be risk free. So how does knowing about and managing risks help us to face life? Here are the salient points and the video is available below to watch back.

  • Life is never risk free and we can end up avoiding some risks but actually end up missing others. For example, whilst there may be risks from Coronavirus with children returning to school, there are also risks around the home even in a safe and loving environment.
  • When planning for events in life, it is helpful to make a list of all the potential risks and carry out a risk assessment. In fact, as a church we do this for all major and regular events.
  • Too often however, people stop after making the list. However, this is not genuine risk management, all you have done so far is make a list of your fears and worries.
  • The next stage of risk management is to assess the risks by evaluating their probability. How likely is something to happen. We then want to look at the impact. If it happens, what impact will it have on things like costs, time delays, the quality of an outcome, the health and safety of those involved? 
  • We should focus out attention on those things that are high risk because there is a strong likelihood that they will happen and the affect will be significant.
  • However, we need to remember that things we considered unlikely can still happen. None of my plans for 2020 included the likelihood of a pandemic leading to lockdown. Conversely, we can rate something as highly probable but that does not mean it will happen.
  • The Bible is full of language that points to the importance of loving your neighbour, being wise and protecting against risk whether that is by putting a parapet around the roof of your house or isolating those suffering from infectious diseases.
  • Jesus tells us to count the cost of discipleship -but the point there is not that as a result of making our risk assessment we will decide that following Jesus isn’t worth it. Leaving everything to follow Christ is always worth it.
  • We will face risks when there is either certain danger from doing nothing, or a certain positive outcome if we do act. For Christians, all of the risks of discipleship are worth it because not following Christ means certain judgement whilst following him offers the certain hope of eternal life.

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