Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Jesus Triangle

I talked to a friend who is an accomplished hunter. Each year he successfully harvests both elk and deer. He hunts with a bow and arrow. In order to get within the limited range of his weapon, he must be very aware of how the animals he hunts process a threat. He uses a mental checklist called “The Hunter’s Triangle” to make sure he does not prematurely spook the animal. The triangle consists of sight, smell, and sound. He stays out of sight, downwind and whisper-quiet in his stealthy approach. These three elements working together allow him to get close enough to make a safe and humane shot.

Paul wrote about what I would call, “The Jesus Triangle” in I Corinthians 13:13.  “And now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Paul wrote these closing words of I Corinthians 13 – The Love Chapter - after talking to the Corinthians about how we are to live in culture until time ends and only love remains. Paul was describing the over-arching strategy of a kingdom not of this world.

We live in a jittery culture. People are suspicious of religion. The name of Jesus has been hijacked for a variety of purposes like politics, national identity, closing business deals and motivational speeches. I don’t blame people for feeling this way. They feel had and used and like the wounded prey of a spiritual hunter armed with misguided motives. Approaching someone in the name of Jesus nowadays carries with it many warning signs that will spook a person before you can get close enough to actually begin a real relationship.

We need to ask ourselves a question, “Why are we on the hunt?” If our approach is motivated by anything less than the heart of God we will never get within range of another human being. Our shots will only wound because our tactics were not the tactics of God.

If I were to define The Jesus Triangle, here is how I would describe its three components. 

FAITH lets people connect with the substance of things not yet seen in this life. When you approach a person with faith you help them see beyond the pain and struggle they are experiencing to believe in something more. 

HOPE secures what faith reveals. When you approach a person with hope you help them understand that the most valuable things in life are secured for them in eternity beyond the stench of death and decay of this world. 

LOVE fills the cracks of our broken and pain-filled lives. When you approach someone with love the sound of your words will become the spiritual mortar that holds all things together. 

Only a message containing these three elements – faith, hope, and love – will allow us to get within range of another person because these three are honest, authentic and without sullied motives.

When you hunt for broken lives using The Jesus Triangle this selfless tactic will help you get close enough to another person to put an arrow of love deep within their heart. God’s arrows never bring death. They always bring life. Happy hunting!

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