\ˈre-kləs\: marked by lack of proper caution : careless of consequences

What does a reckless life look like? I think to some degree its about perspective. We might look at a race car driver, a mixed martial arts fighter, or a stunt man as someone who lives a life defined by recklessness. But what is the common element that puts those lifestyles under the reckless umbrella? Simply put, danger.

Since day one, most parents teach their children not to be reckless. I caution my daughter not to climb things that she is not physically coordinated yet to climb, because of the danger. She could fall and hurt herself. I don't let my daughter run loose in parking lots. She has to hold my hand. If you're a parent, you understand this concept. If you're not a parent, you probably still understand the concept. Depending on age, cautions change and perspective of recklessness shifts. When my daughter is 15, I probably won't be so apt to grab her hand in the Wal-mart parking lot because I fear that she may unknowingly take a wrong step out in front of a car. The point is, no matter what stage you are in life, you get cautioned. You're warned. You're encouraged to steer clear of different forms of danger. Our parents, our family, our government, and our culture encourages us to not live a reckless lifestyle. We are encouraged to not be reckless with our vehicles. We are encouraged to not be reckless with our money. We are encouraged to not be reckless with our health. We are encouraged to not be reckless with our safety. Those are all good encouragements. We need caution! The only time I think that we should have a problem with caution is when it comes to our faith.

Don't read me wrong, I'm not insinuating that we live recklessly, without responsibility to anything on behalf of our faith. As Christians, we have responsibility. We have a God to answer to. We have a mission and tasks to complete. We have families to take care of and teach God's Word to. We can't throw caution to the wind when it comes to our biblical responsibility and purpose. However, when it comes to the caution parameters that our world has developed concerning our lives, I truly believe that there are moments in the life of a Christian when we must choose to live reckless in the world's eyes.

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:13-17," If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

Paul is basically acknowledging the fact that as a new creation, believing Christ-follower, that we will do things that won't compute with the world. His life was consistent with that thought. Paul had a reckless abandon to self as he followed Christ, landing himself in prison and in the face of persecution. He didn't look out for his own safety or well-being when it clashed with the well-being of the gospel!

Christ told the Rich Young Ruler in Luke 18:22, "Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me". Something tells me that a financial advisor would caution greatly against a move like that. Yet, its what Christ commanded this man to do. The disciples dropped all that they had and all that they were to follow Christ. How reckless is that? They gave up their livelihood!

Christians, we have been lied to and have allowed our culture to shape how we follow God. Basically, its acceptable to follow God. However, when it comes to doing something reckless in the world's eyes to follow Him, we often choose to not follow God at those times. Sometimes we do it unconsciously. We are so warped by our worldview and the enemy that we don't even notice our rejection of God's will. Sometimes, it is done consciously, but we justify it by saying we are looking after the safety and well-being of our family or ourselves. And what's sad is that we believe that's acceptable! Believe me, I am all for taking care of your family, being responsible, and using your brain to be safe. God gave us brains and I am positive He wants us to use them! However, when God calls us to do something, we can't worry about whether or not its safe or risky, we need to just do it. Faith in God shouldn't be contingent on life's circumstances.

I believe we need to be reckless for God! Grace is a free gift, but it isn't cheap. Following Christ costs us everything. We need to be willing to pay that price.

By the grace of God, I have been able to shed almost 40 pounds this year. I'm thankful for the good accountability that God has provided me from my wife and my co-workers. I'm thankful for the health He has blessed me with to be able to run, exercise, and play basketball. I believe the biggest factor in my weight loss and health has been in making better eating choices. I'm eating smaller and healthier portions of food. My point is, I've realized what it takes to be healthier. I've been running for years, but to really be healthy and lose the excess weight that I needed to, it ultimately took a change in eating habits and lifestyle to accomplish that physical health. I did what it takes.

Our spiritual health works much the same way. In order to be spiritually healthy, we have to do what it takes. Many times we have to change our habits, lifestyle, and focus to be spiritually healthy, the way God wants us to be. The church, as a whole, is not spiritually healthy. We could spend all day hashing out the reasons. Ultimately, its because the people of the church individually are not spiritually healthy. I believe in order to be spiritually healthy, we must be willing to be culturally unhealthy. Which means that we live reckless. Which may mean that we invite that homeless person into our house, feed him, clothe him, and nourish him. Which may mean that we make a decision that will cost us our job, because its what God called us to do. Which may mean that we sell all that we have in order to follow Him to the place He has called us to be. Which may mean that we walk into the heart of the ghetto to bring the gospel to people that need it.

Don't be so quick to tell my missionary friends in East Asia that they're being unsafe, because they could be imprisoned and killed for preaching the gospel. Don't be so quick to tell your kids that they're being irresponsible if they turn down a high paying career and go to Seminary. Don't be so quick to tell my Christian brother, Michael Fugitt, that he's nuts because he's lived out of his car and quit his job to travel around the U.S. preaching the gospel through word and song. Think about it. The minute you caution them or accuse them of being reckless, you put yourself in opposition of men from scripture like the disciples, Paul, and even Christ Himself.

God hasn't called us to live safe lives. He hasn't called our churches to hoard money. He hasn't called us to shut ourselves in our homes, build up our bank accounts, and stay away from dangerous people. At the same time, He has also not called us to be irresponsible and stupid. But sometimes, God is calling us to go to the front lines of battle. Sometimes, God is calling us to live recklessly in the eyes of the world. Sometimes, God is calling us to give away all that we have. All the time, He is calling us to take up our cross, an instrument of death, and follow Him.