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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Pros and Cons (08/14/14)

TITLE: A glimpse at the real deal
By Maretha Retief


When something is promoted, we barely hear about the negative consequences as the positives are enlarged to such an extent that we even forget about the existence of a negative side. As with everything else in life, the same applies when it comes to making an investment of your faith in Jesus by accepting Him as your Lord and Savior. It is the biggest decision you will ever make.

The first question you might ask is, “What would be the return on my investment?” and an estimation can be given, but the next question is, “What will be the risk involved?”

Everyone can promote something and make it sound great, but it is only when you have considered all the ups and downs and still decide to invest that you will endure the consequences, because you know what you are in for.

The return I got when I entered the arena with Christ was favor and purpose without earning it. I found doors opening that were locked with chains for as long as I can remember. I experienced an unshakable inner peace and no matter how frantic the storms of life raged on the outside, I had peace and knew that everything would turn out for my good. Everything might not come in the package I envisaged it, but whatever I received was more than I could ask for. I stopped depending on my own goodness and efforts. My continuous chase after having more and becoming more important disappeared as I became more content in who I am in Christ. Do you consider that a good thing, I do not know, but for me it was?

The return on my investment was and still is satisfying, but it was only over a course of time that I calculated the risks involved…

The part I did not reckon in was the discomfort it caused me to give up myself—my own plans, desires and ideas. I always thought I knew everything and especially what would be good for me, but only to find out I knew nothing and still had everything to learn. Trials came across the horizon of my life that caused massive falls in the value of my investment, which even caused me to wonder whether I did the right thing, but after hanging in for a while longer, the value rose again and I was strengthened beyond my imagination. Difficult questions came up and I had to make many hard decisions of which the timing was very important and only I could make them for myself—often against what people expected.

I had to come face-to-face with my own self-righteousness and what a nasty encounter that was! The part of me that I always held unto for dear life was the part I despised the most. I realized that the things I always thought were important were exactly what were holding me back to fulfil my purpose in life.

I no longer have any certainties about tomorrow as the rise and fall of the market of the world is unpredictable. I only have enough to get me through one day. Whatever comes tomorrow requires faith and trust in God to provide. My own limitations are clear and my undeniable need to depend on God is so apparent.

Now, was the investment worth the risk? That is for everyone to decide for themselves. I can only speak for myself and I had to risk losing who I thought I was in return to gain who I was truly meant to be. One thing I know, for every risk I had to take in Christ, I have already received the victory with the return on my investment in Christ through His perfect work for me on the cross!

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This article has been read 187 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 08/21/14

Well done, well said...and powerful message included in this well written piece.

God bless~
Toni Babcock 08/21/14
Thanks for sharing your story. I enjoyed reading your observations and timely spiritual advice.
Larry Whittington08/24/14
This was not a smooth read for me. The last sentence of one paragraph had a word or two that seemed missing. It didn't make sense to me the first time I read it.

The thought strands seemed interconnected.

I think this could be improved on by having a clear topic that could use the theme words of the week.
Rachel Barrett 08/26/14
I liked how you compared the world to a stock market. That was unique.

"I had to come face-to-face with my own self-righteousness and what a nasty encounter that was!" Oh, how true for so many of us, who shall remain nameless... :P SO true.
Larry Whittington08/27/14
This was an interesting article on the pros and cons compared to investments and risks.

Many people do not know enough about Jesus when they are asked to believe in him and trust in him, let along to obey him in baptism. People are not usually told that the followers of Jesus will be treated the same as He was treated. People who love Jesus should love the follower of Jesus. People who hate Jesus will hate followers of Jesus.

The pros for when a person gives himself to obey Jesus, is the forgiveness of sin and hope of heaven. The cons are that a person has to consider himself a servant/slave to Jesus. But this is better than the the result if a person is a servant/slave to sin or the world. The result of being a faithful until death servant of Jesus is a home in Heaven. The result of being an unfaithful servant is eternal judgement/condemnation.

I would have like you to have pointed out the end result of those who would be faithful followers of Jesus: heaven, as compared to the opposite result of those not faithful followers of Jesus: hell.

We risk everything when we choose Jesus but the reward is heaven.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/28/14
Congratulations on ranking 9th in your level. The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.