There’s no formula to how God works through uncertainty. The crazy thing is this: He wants us to put some skin in the game.
In my wrap-up post on the Rejection Series, a couple readers reminded me that the phrase, “skin in the game”, might not be so familiar to some.
What does it mean to put “skin in the game” of faith?
I’ve decided to let you in on what I’m talkin’ about. Hopefully, you’ll ante up and get in on this thing together.
First, let’s look at where this phrase originally came from —
Skin in the Game.
“Coined by renowned investor Warren Buffett, referring to a situation in which high-ranking insiders use their own money to buy stock in the company they are running.” ~ Ask.com
The Game Of Faith
It’s a smart financial investment concept. Executives can talk a good talk. But, if you see them putting their own money on the line — with a stake in the company’s success — it’s a darn good indication of that company’s potential for success.
We Christians can be wary of this type of investment. Especially those like me, who’ve been going to Sunday School, since forever. I’m able to recite verses that say “I trust God” and even offer advice to other folks. Nothing wrong with any of this, actually.
But, if I just talk, without putting my own faith on the line, I’m missing out on seeing God show up in my life.
A Bad Case of “Yeah-But”
Being a faith barista isn’t merely serving up encouragement to others. We can only give what we have ourselves.
We’ve gotta push ourselves out there, taking actions that require risk, to put our “bets” on God to come through — with His plan for us.
We step out in faith.
I know, I know. Maybe you’ve got some reservations.
Maybe you’ve got what I call: A Bad Case of “Yeah-But”.
Yeah… But —
— “My life is pretty good as is. No need to rock the boat.”
What if there is more to life than you know, outside of the boat?
— “I’ve tried it before, and I got burned. Like big time.”
What if God had something bigger, that makes up for your loss?
— “Nothing’s going to change. I’m just trying to survive.”
What if God wants to breathe some new life into you?
— “I don’t even know what it is I want. What can I do?”
What if God knew what you needed and has it ready for you?
— “I don’t want make any mistakes. How embarrassing.”
What if God’s waiting to steer you to the good, once you got moving?
I battle the Yeah–Buts — all the time.
Examples Of The Cure
The cure to “Yeah–But” is kicking it to the curb. Close your eyes, hang on to God, and just step out.
Put some skin in the game.
Sometimes, we invest faith in a percolating dream.
Reader Steph Layton did just that. Steph participated in Faith Barista Friday by writing a post about rejection a couple weeks ago. Inspired by fellow bloggers’ posts, she decided to approach Studio JRU to sponsor her to attend Relevant 2010, a Christian Blogging Conference. To her amazement, the answer was yes.
Other times, faith calls to us in the dark, before the morning.
Consider Reader X, who sat on a bench last week, waiting to walk into divorce court, because her husband gave up on marriage and their two girls. Reader X emailed to tell me*,
“Sitting, waiting for our turn…
I kept saying, ‘I trust you Jesus… I trust in your timing and provision… Lord, get me through this.’
I remained calm. And I cried on the way home.”
Are you as stunned and amazed as I am?
Take a Step
Me? I have two steps on opposite ends of the spectrum, too.
One, I applied for a sponsor to get to Relevant, too. It may not happen, but I’m okay with it.
The important thing is that I’m putting skin in the game. Even if the answer is no, I’m exercising my faith
— believing the chips fall where God tells them to.
As for the other step?… You’ll have to stay tuned.
How can you kick Yeah-But to the curb?
How can you put skin in the game — and step out in faith?
“If we are faithless, he will remain faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.”
~ 2 Timothy 2:13
“As for those who come to me and hear my words
and put them into practice…
They are like a man building a house.. on rock,
When a flood came, the torrent struck that house,
but could not shake it…”
~ Jesus. Luke 6:47
(*) I received permission from Reader X to share her words in today’s post.
Photo courtesy of Photobucket.
Wow. This was very challenging to me! Thanks. Just love your posts.
.-= Mari Larkin´s last blog ..Grandmas Won’t Want to Miss This Fun! =-.
Oh, the “Yeah~but” of life…we struggle with conflicting “Yeah~buts” a lot. Most involve where we choose to spend money after bills are paid. I don’t think we are alone in that argument when it comes to couples and money…..but I like the analogy of “putting skin in the game” …thanks for a bit more explanation.
Oh, there’s a good topic to blog about!
What a great post, Bonnie! This really challenged me.
.-= Billy Coffey´s last blog ..Lesser Prayers =-.
As yours do!
Great post. Yeah-buts get in the way of a lot of things we could do. I think a lot of people will connect with this one.
.-= Matt´s last blog ..World Vision: 2 Soccer Balls =-.
Yep- We all battle the Yeah-buts.
Love this, Bonnie…brave, beautiful you helping us all stand a little taller and leap a little farther in our faith. Can’t wait to see you this week!!
.-= Holley Gerth´s last blog ..OUT of INsecurity 17: The keys to your heart… =-.
This really challenged me! Thanks for the post and I’m interested to see what you’ve got coming next. 🙂
.-= Melissa Brotherton´s last blog ..An Unexpected Trip =-.
Me, too… we’re all stepping out…
Anyone who has ever gone through counseling of any kind, especially couples counseling, knows that “but” is a forbidden word. Once you eliminate it — and that’s a difficult thing to do, so you accept trying to do it, to be aware of doing it — you begin to see the possibilities of “x… and … “. It makes living in God’s world so much more beautiful.
.-= Maureen (Mo)´s last blog ..Monday Muse: New York’s Poet Laureate =-.
Nix the “but”, huh? … I’m gonna start noticing this now…
Good stuff. Let’s kick some “yeah-but” 🙂
One great thing for me is accepting that God is much bigger and I can do what He says I can do because He backs it up with His power and grace. That’s not to say it’s easy, but it’s a great launching point. I lack, He provides. I’m small, He’s great.
.-= jasonS´s last blog ..Don’t Forget Your Suffering =-.
There you go, getting all quotable on me! 😉 “Let’s kick some ‘yeah-but’…” LOL!
beautiful – and a million thanks for sharing the amazing things God is doing in my life right now!! I WILL walk by faith! =)
Props to you, Steph, for putting your faith on the line!
Very challenging post Bonnie! This is something that God is really working on me right now. I am slowly learning to build my faith muscles. 🙂
.-= Kevin M.´s last blog ..One Word at a Time … Paths =-.
Thanks, Kevin… One rep at a time…
I’m challenged less by “yeah-but” and far more by “are we there yet?” He’s learnin’ me patience in a BIG way.
.-= Anne Lang Bundy´s last blog ..Question of the Week:How Much is Too Much? =-.
That’s kind cute. Dunno if u meant that to be humorous, but I somehow imagined “little Anne” sitting in the car ride, saying that to Abba. 😉
He has me in a season where i can’t say “yeah-but.” this was so encouraging to read as in the past i would talk the talk re: believing God for BIG things, but now it’s time to walk it out. here’s to putting the skin in the game! gonna believe Him to show-off in this one! thank you bonnie.
.-= Lindsey´s last blog ..choosing JOY monday =-.
Wahoo! Lindsey! It’s your time — God’s time!
Great post! I would love to kick my Yeah-But to the curb. Where’s the new life God wants to breathe into me? I’m ready!
.-= Kim´s last blog ..Still Busy =-.
Oh,yeah! I’m in line for that, too!
I feel like you’re tuned into my current ‘talks with God’ or rather, HIS talks with me! Right on point.
Doing my best to look to HIM and not fret, and catch myself when I do say or think “yeah…..but” and replace it with an affirmation, such as repeating Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
It’s tough, especially when you trusted God in the past and your idea of what the end result should be and His didn’t line up and caused you pain.
Looking forward to the next blog!
Amazing for you to get back in the place of trust, then! God must have done a change in you through the pain. Blessings as you put some skin in the game again.
Bonnie, so encouraging. I have come down with a bad case of the “yeah-butts” from time to time, and putting the skin in the game of faith is a perfect analogy/challenge. Loved this!
.-= Brett Barner´s last blog ..MMH5 – Five Things New with GodlySheep =-.
You’ve got skin all over the place now, with your 5 new changes! What an exciting time of change, as you put yourself in Him to step out.
Our FatherGod is so cool! I have conversations with Him like Moses did at the Burning Bush. He knows me so well that He actually starts way ahead of the time I need to do whatever He needs me to do to give me the time to question Him to make sure it is He who wants me to do whatever it is and to give me the confidence I need that I am hearing Him correctly. Amazing!
Great point, Cathleen! God was not put off by Moses’ questions – He responded with answers and listened and considered — and drew him in.
I’m in the process of finding a volunteer service to work in. I’ve raised my children and felt it was time to get involved in our community helping in some way. This is my way of putting some ‘skin’ in the game. I recently resigned from a full time position as an administrative assistant to directors in a local hospital. I felt like this was not the place for me to continue–so much stress. With all the stress, I did not have the energy to do the things that I loved–not much time to study God’s way either. So I took a leap of faith, left this well-paying job to follow what God wants me to do with the rest of my life. I have always wanted to serve Him in a way that used my heart not just my head. I could use some prayers as I search for ways to serve. I am ready to put some real ‘skin’ into the game. His way is a way of life I’ve always believed, but I truly want to be actively touching the people and bringing His love to those who need it most.
Dee! You go! Wow — big, scary, exciting — with faith, God will lead you and use you. May grace be at your every side in this new chapter in life.
Thanks for this today…it was just what I needed. As I was reading I found myself thinking that I don’t let my kids use the ‘yeah-but’ excuse…I encourage them to plow thru whatever it is that is holding them back. I need to give myself the same talk. Or maybe you just did.
Oh Bonnie this was SO what I needed to hear today. Thank you for being faithful in the journey and challenging us to step out!
.-= Kristine McGuire´s last blog ..R.E.S.P.E.C.T (Exploring Submission in Marriage) =-.
Hey Lady, I haven’t been here in a while but I’m glad I made it today.
Do it afraid! That’s something I heard Joyce Meyer say years ago and I just make it a practice in my life…. I want to see what the Lord is going to do or how He’s going to move in my life and sometimes it’s good to have the “yeah, buts” because it shows that we don’t trust ourselves.
But Him, I trust.
.-= Kissie´s last blog ..Who Asked You? =-.
Thanks for teaching me something new. I battle the ‘yeah-buts’ all the time! This is very challenging, Bonnie. Thank you.
.-= Bridget Chumbley´s last blog ..Faithfulness (Blog Carnival) =-.
I’d love to be able to kick “yeah-but” to the curb, but…. =D
Seriously, I would love to be able to kick “yeah-but” to the curb. It’s been holding me back for way too long. I guess I just need to take a deep breath, and go! Thanks for the encouragement and challenge to get out there!
.-= Rachel´s last blog ..Unconscious Mutterings =-.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. The human spirit, in God’s image is meant to step out, doing things we would never have the power to do on our own. I think that’s why I love the book The Barbarian Way so much. And anything by John Eldredge. I need these reminders to truly live my “one wild and precious life.” Just today I asked myself, what am I waiting for?
You know what sitting, doing nothing, waiting, etc. has done for me? Depression. When we don’t live out our gifts, creativity, etc., we get stuck there, in the funk.
All that to say, I love this post 🙂
.-= Heather of the EO´s last blog ..I carry you =-.
To fully participate in life, and to have “life to the fullest”, often one must change their inner dialogue from Why? to Why not? And if first you don’t succeed, try, try again!
.-= katdish´s last blog ..Faithfulness – To thine own self be true =-.
Bonnie, I have been thinking about this faith walk a lot the last view days. Since graduation is fast approaching, I have a lot of decisions to make *really big ones*. Naturally, I’m scared, but I am choosing to walk in faith. I’m trusting that even though I have no clue where I’m headed He does. Love this post!
.-= Jennifer Adams´s last blog ..Sunday Prayers =-.
Smith Wigglesworth was once asked how a person could have great faith. He answered, “First, the blade, then the head, then the mature grain.”
He used Mark 4:28 to illustrate that our faith is built up over time and does not evolve into being great faith overnight. Faith has to survive trials and battles before it becomes great faith.
So, if we want great faith, we probably should ask the Lord for great trials. Doesn’t sound like much fun, right?
.-= Larry Who´s last blog ..It’s Your Decision…Run or Fight! (Part 1) =-.
Yeah but…can He hurry up?? This my biggest challenge – to remain patient and faithful at the same time. This is so humbling, yet inspiring.
.-= Candy´s last blog ..Faithful Foundations =-.
What a challenging post. Sometimes I think I hear God saying “yeah but” to me.
“Yeah but this is not your time.”
“Yeah but I’m calling you over here right now.”
“Yeah, that’s a good thing, BUT this is better.”
I have used yeah-but to weasel out of all kinds of acts of obedience throughout my life. I love dipping back into the history books and snagging a tidbit to keeep me from doing what i need to do!
.-= David @ Red Letter Believers´s last blog ..More than what we see =-.
[…] keeping our faith real. p.s. For those who are waiting to hear about step two of how I’m kicking Yeah-But to the curb, I’ll have a story for you in just a few weeks. This personal shot of faith has been […]
Aw, yeah. Kick it the curb.
This is a butt-kicking post, Bonnie. Keep us moving! I can only imagine the number of readers that were motivated to DO SOMETHING from reading this.
.-= Bradley J. Moore´s last blog ..What to Do When You Are Completely Overwhelmed at Work =-.