Radical Risks Are Rewarding!

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Some risks we take are fairly safe.  Other risks can be radical.  It takes a radical risk to love other people as we love ourselves (Mat. 22:39).  John reminds us that “the one who does not love does not know God” (I John 4:8).  Here are some simple, but radical, examples:

Last year a fifteen-year old boy, Yasir Moore, went for a job interview at a local Chick-fil-A in Raleigh, North  Carolina.  He stopped at a department store to buy a tie so he would look more professional.  The store didn’t have any clip-on ties, but one of the employees, Dennis Roberts, showed Moore how to tie his own tie.  He then offered some advice on the interview.

Yasir Moore was so appreciative that he reached over to hug Dennis on account of the advice and how to tie his tie.  Another customer had been observing this and quickly took a photo of this encounter.  Immediately, it went viral.

Yasir was so appreciative, he said, “In the world today you don’t see a lot of good things happen where people help each other.”  Yasir is a black man; Dennis is a white man.  The ability to help and receive help transcended racial lines – as genuine caring always does.  That’s radical!

Genuine caring isn’t restricted to a certain race, age, occupation or gender.  Last year in Fresno, California, several members of Hell’s Angels lived up to the last word of their name.  They waited in line for five days to buy bicycles for needy local kids.  They were going to take advantage of Black Friday sales so they could purchase over 200 bikes from a local WalMart.  They gave the bikes to kids who couldn’t afford a bike.

One member of Hell’s Angels commented, “It’s not the jacket I wear; it’s not the motor I ride, it’s not a glove.  You ain’t got enough money wearing anything to make me feel the way I feel when I give these kids these bikes.”  The greatest feeling in the world comes when we do something radically loving for someone else.

Maybe you read about the President of Kentucky State University.  He elected to take a big pay cut so the other school employees could get a raise.  Dr. Raymond Burse knocked $90,000 off his salary to give the University’s minimum wage earners a $3.00 bump to $10.25 an hour.  That raise will also apply to all new hires even after Burse goes out of office.  That’s radical!

Burse says his reasons were simple.  “You don’t give up $90,000 for publicity.  I did this for the people.  I didn’t expect any publicity.  This is something I have been thinking about from the very beginning.”

Radical caring for others is mathematically sound.  It will add volumes of joy and happiness, subtract loneliness and depression, divide your grief and adversity, and multiply your blessings and rewards. (Tweet this)

My friend, Anne Graham Lotz, reminds us that in dealing with others, “Our first concern is usually for our own well-being and having our needs met.  And our second concern is that others respond positively to our overtures.  If they don’t, we refuse to continue to love them.  But Jesus outlined a radically different kind of love – a love that puts the needs and well-being of others before our own to the extent we would sacrifice our time, our energy, our money, and our thoughts in order to demonstrate it.  We demonstrate it to others whom we may not like or with whom we may be incompatible or who may respond negatively or who may never do anything for us in return!  Now that’s radical!”

How radical will you risk being?

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