The Dangerous Work of Playing it Safe

Do you ever find yourself holding back?  Do you ever find yourself hesitating? 


I know something about hesitating.  Oh, I suppose there are times when it might be wise to hesitate before speaking or doing.  Far too often, I think we hesitate out of fear or maybe just to play it safe. 


Yea, that’s it.  Play it safe.


Play it safe!  Don’t ask people in the church to tell you what they really think.  You might not like what they have to say.   Play it safe.


Play it safe!  Don’t directly confront that ministry leader in your church about something you disagree with.  Instead, find a few key people and get them agitated and disturbed.  Finally, they might get angry enough to go to that person themselves. In other words, manipulate others to do your dirty work.  Play it safe. 


Play it safe!  Don’t disagree with the leaders in your church.  They might not like it.  Instead, kiss up to them in their presence and then say what you like when they are not around.  Play it safe.


Play it safe!  Don’t give people at work your real opinion.  You may be the only one who believes the behavior in question is wrong.  Then what would others think about you?


Play it safe!  Don’t really tell the church what you think or what you feel.  Measure your words.  Cover your backside.  After all, you have to take care of yourself.


Play it safe!  Don’t reveal that you are learning, growing, improving etc.  Don’t admit that you were wrong.  Show people "strength", not "weakness."


Play it safe!  Don’t be candid in your sermon messages.  After all, you could lose your ministry!  Do you want to hear those fateful words?  ("We’ve decided that we need a change")


Play it safe!  Don’t show all your cards.  Don’t you remember all of those times when others failed and disappointed you?  You can’t really open your heart to these people.  They will hurt you.

Play it safe!

Many do.

Sadly enough, ministers/elders/pastors/other church leaders convey to the church that they are going to play it safe.


As a result, the church does too.  The church learns to play it safe.


It is really a paradox.  When we spend most of our lives playing it safe, we are actually doing what is most dangerous.  In the end, we lose–and so do many, many other people.   


Maybe one of the saddest statements that could be written about a church is that they had so many opportunities but lived in hesitation.  As a result, they played it safe–and lost.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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9 thoughts on “The Dangerous Work of Playing it Safe

  1. When I read this this morning, I was reminded of a post by my friend, David U, in Searcy. Many months ago he wrote a post about this idea of playing it safe, in relation to some decisions made by him employer, and many people benefitted from it. Thank you for reminding us that seeking safety is a weakness. It doesn’t allow us to launch out and trust God to not let us fall. Thank you

    (p.s.: DU’s post can be found here.)