Day 19: Hand-in-Hand

When talking about Christianity, it seems like the description-of and love-for WHO Jesus is should go hand in hand with conversion and a change in lifestyle as we learn to obey Him more. However, if you believe something going "hand-in-hand" means it is simple, then you're probably wrong.

Watch.

The high five has some very complicated nuances that, if missed, can make for some pretty hilarious highlight reels on YouTube. You've got to consider several key elements. 

#1 

Make eye contact BEFORE reaching out your hand to initiate "the five".

#2

Make sure you clearly have an open hand. It's not rock-paper-scissors.

#3

You must be clear on whether you're "up-high" or "down-low". Don't be Ronny Turiaf.

I'm only scratching the surface here. Anyways, my point is that even with "hand-in-hand" (high fives) there's an order to things. I know this analogy is a stretch, but its way more entertaining than just me talking about it.

Most sermons you hear fall into one of two categories: either they are all about Jesus and who He is/what He has done OR they are about you/what your life should look like as a follower of Jesus. Most people would say these go "hand-in-hand". This means you can't get one without the other, as they are equally important/interchangeable... but if you watched the videos above, you know it is just not that simple.

There absolutely has to be a clear focus on one specific part, and the rest falls together. In the high-five, I believe the key to nailing it is to lock in some good eye contact while yelling "HIGH-FIVE". That's it. 

When it comes to Jesus, the key to nailing it is to talk about Jesus' unconditional, unfailing, unchanging, all-encompassing, never-tiring, infinite, personal, indescribably selfless love, and that's it. The lifestyle change, the obedience, will undoubtedly follow. 

However, if you have the privilege to talk about Jesus to someone and your main focus is on that lifestyle change and perfect obedience, you have now set an expectation that no human being can ever maintain. You've set them up for failure. They may obey for a time. Shoot, they may obey for a LONG time. 

But it's for the wrong reasons. And it's unsustainable.

Last analogy- It's like balancing a broom on your hand. If you look at the bottom of the broomstick, where it's touching your hand, you cannot balance it very long. However, if you look at the top of the broom, way above where the point of contact is, you can balance it til your arm gets tired. Where you put your focus determines your success.

In your mind, and with your words, ALWAYS put your focus on WHO JESUS IS. Plain and simple. The rest will fall into place. 

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
— 2 Corinthians 3:!8