The brave knight stepped forth, clad in his suit of armor, and extended his hand to receive the most important tool of his trade; his mighty broadsword. As his faithful servant held the handle toward him, the knight carefully set his forefinger against the hilt, wrapping it tightly around the handle to set his grip in place. He then extended his long middle finger fully around the circumference of the mighty handle to insure a secure grip on his weapon. Next in order, he gripped the cold metal firmly with his mightiest finger of all, his powerful ring finger, giving him confidence that not even the mightiest of blows would dislodge his blade from his grip. After these other fingers had been set in place, he added the smallest finger of all to join the others, though it was certainly not insignificant as it lent perfect balance to the entire grip. Finally, the knight placed his powerful thumb atop all his fingers, pointing along the sleek line of his sword toward its razor sharp tip. The thumb was the necessary completion of his mighty grip, without which none of the fingers would be of any value in controlling this powerful tool of defense and destruction. Now, with his gauntlet enshrouded hand in complete control of his glinting blade, the knight held it high above his head, feeling its weight and balance. He was confident that his grip would not fail. He was ready to venture forth into a fierce duel to the death.
A knight must have a firm grip on his broadsword if he’s to be ready to do battle. A loose grip would mean certain defeat at the hands of his enemy. So, too, every one of us must have a firm grip on our view of life or the winds and woes of life will thrash us, send us far off course and beat us down to a place of aimless despair. This is especially true in the realm of relationships. A person must have a clear worldview when it comes to how to interact with others. If one is not clear on this, he will be pulled in multiple directions by all those he encounters.
Drawing on the illustration of our knight above, we can compare the knight’s fingers to a person’s relationships with all the people in his life. Some of these relationships are close and of great significance. These must be handled with special care as they set the direction for much of life. Other relationships require a great investment of time and energy to keep them in order. Others, while not as high in prioritization, must still be carefully maintained in order to keep one’s entire life in balance. If a person is to keep his life under a balanced control, he must be constantly vigilant to all his relationships with the people in his life. And, most of all, he must have his thumb in place. When it comes to relationships, the thumb represents a person’s relationship with God. This pinnacle of relationships is the one that extends over all the others to point them in one common direction and to keep them in their proper place. If the thumb is not properly in place, one will lose his grip on all the other relationships in life and will be left defenseless against the attacks of an evil world.
What does all of this have to do with “Life in God’s Way”? The purpose at hand is to set forth a SIMPLE and MEMORABLE WORLDVIEW that will guide a proper grip on the relationships of life. This grip is one with the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as the “thumb” that will direct and empower a strong hold on all the other relationships. For brevity, the name of Jesus will serve as the “thumb” in this worldview, for His name encompasses all that we know of the one true God. With Jesus as the “thumb” over all our other relationship “fingers,” it’s possible to have a strong and balanced grip on our worldview. It gives us the simple clarity of focus to defend against the lies of a sinful world. It gives us the power and clear direction to go on the offensive and carve out a straight and narrow path through life. Maintaining a “thumbs up worldview” is a short way of saying that it is essential to have a strong and attentive focus on Jesus if one is to have a worldview that will effectively guide all the relationships of life.
With a “thumbs up worldview” that’s centered on Jesus Christ, a person is prepared to handle all the challenges, joys and sorrows that will come our way in our relationships with others. This will be especially true in our primary human relationship; the marriage relationship. A marriage that’s guided by Jesus is one that will be strong and able to withstand the assaults it will most certainly encounter. Marriage is an institution that’s under attack. Some even believe it’s received its fatal blow and is in the throes of death. However, God, who created the institution of marriage, speaks otherwise. His Word guides us to a way for marriage that will enable this institution to survive and thrive. This way is summarized quite concisely in one key passage in the Bible, Eph. 5:31 & 32. If one is able to understand and hold fast to God’s teaching regarding marriage, it will have a tremendously important impact on his entire worldview. It will guide him to better understand his relationship with the “thumb,” Jesus. It will also guide him to a better grasp on all his other relationships with the people in his life. A “thumbs up worldview” will yield strong relationships in every aspect of life that will give the individual a confident defense and a bold offense for the inevitable battles of life.
“Life in God’s Way” will be useful to anyone who seeks to get their relationships … and all of life … in order, in God’s way. However, it will be especially valuable to those who influence others as Christian church workers. As they grasp the SIMPLE and MEMORABLE insights of the “thumbs up worldview,” they’ll have a powerful weapon to guide them in leading others by example and instruction. They’ll be able to cut through the confusing lies of the Evil One and keep their relationships in order in God’s way. As will be seen, right relationship priorities and life in God’s way go hand in hand … or rather “hand in gauntlet.”