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Living Recklessly


OK, I’m confused. For most of my life I’ve been told that doing anything recklessly is bad and to be avoided. Handle finances recklessly and end up in debt. Navigate relationships recklessly and leave a trail of anger, bitterness, and disappointment. Drive recklessly and end up around a tree and cited for “Reckless Driving” (this “reckless” is so bad there’s even a law against it!).

But according to Kevin Harney this past weekend, Jesus calls us to a life of “recklessness,” specifically in the areas of service, generosity, prayer, and words (telling others about Jesus).

As I honestly evaluate my life, I think I’ve been “reckless” in all of these areas at some point, just not all at the same time and certainly not for very long. They usually follow an event (a sermon, conference, seminar, or book) that God uses to challenge me in a particular area.

As a student in Bible College I was challenged, through a class on evangelism, to become actively involved in telling others about Jesus. The methods we used weren’t really effective and probably alienated more than we led to Christ, but at least I was using “reckless words” about what Jesus had done for me. I can say that I’ve rarely reached that level of reckless words since.

Meanwhile, my periods of “reckless generosity” have been more frequent and consistent over the years. As my wife and I have been presented with needs of those in our church and community, we’ve experienced God’s Spirit in our hearts to move us to be more generous than we would normally have been. It’s been a process of being more “open-handed” with the resources God has entrusted to us. It is an ongoing process where we’ve learned to trust God as we give things and money away.

As I reviewed my mixed record of recklessness over the years, I asked myself the question, “Why am I not living more recklessly in these areas?” Even in those areas where I think I’ve made some improvement, there is still much more I could do. What’s stopping me? I think I know.

Mostly it’s because I’m comfortable.

I’m comfortable serving when it’s convenient for me. I’m comfortable giving as long as I’ve got enough in reserve (who really knows how much that needs to be?). I’m comfortable with my prayer life even though I know it’s not that good. And even though my evangelism efforts are not close to what they should be, I’m comfortable in this area as well. But I’m only comfortable when I evaluate myself against what others expect me to do and what I perceive others are doing.

When I measure myself against what God expects, as part of a life of “whitewater rafting,” I know it’s time to strap on the life jacket and get in the raft.

Ready to join me?


Doug Redford | on-campus groups
Doug serves as the pastor of on-campus groups at Ada Bible Church. 

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Doug–
    I appreciate your response to the Kevin Haney “reckless” sermons. If I try to live this way in my own power, in the way that he described during the past two weeks, I know that the results will unsatisfying for me and I’m sure disappointing for God.

    My thinking on these sorts of topics was greatly affected by a sermon Jeff gave a couple of years ago on Ephesians 1. He described how we are adopted by God, redeemed by Him and that this promised is sealed as a done deal by the Holy Spirit. One phrase form the sermon that stayed with me is “Remember who you are.”

    As one of those who has felt the effects of being “thrown off the train,” I need to be constantly reminded that as Jeff said, “He picked me out. He picked me up and he took me in.”

    My motivation comes from that identity of “remembering who I am.” It’s all because of his love and my response to it. I try to constantly ask the Holy Spirit to keep my heart open to seeing what he has done for me.

    As I grow in appreciating his love, I pray that I will grow in reflecting it back to others. For me, it has been a process. It has been like peeling the layers off of an onion.


    August 14, 2013
  2. Sonia Sundberg #

    Thanks for your thoughts, Doug. We’ve been out of town and missed Kevin’s messages. You’ve made me want to hear them. Am thankful for modern technology!

    August 14, 2013
  3. SEO #

    I have an enthusiastic synthetic vision with regard to detail and may foresee issues just before they occur.

    March 21, 2014

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