Counterintuitive

  • March 23, 2015
  • #8581

The Christian life is often counterintuitive: following Jesus and losing our lives in order to save them goes against our natural intuition.

Hi, I’m Joni and it’s amazing what you learn from the flu virus.

I’m breathing a little bit easier this month, what with the flu season pretty much behind us. Back in October of last year, when I went to the doctor for my flu shot, I have to admit, I was a little hesitant. There’s something, I don’t know, there is something counterintuitive about preventing the flu by getting yourself injected with the flu virus, even if it’s supposed to be dead. Besides, as a quadriplegic, exposing myself to the flu is extremely dangerous. So I double checked; I asked my doctor, “Are you sure this is safe, is it right? I mean, I’m not going to get the flu from this, am I?” She smiled, nodded and then proceeded to stick me in the arm. And thankfully, I did not get the flu last winter.

Now, I just bet some of you listening to me have wondered the same thing about getting a flu shot. Come on, admit it. It is counterintuitive, but I checked it out. The Centers for Disease Control say that an annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community. And listen, I had reason to be extremely concerned because 90% of the people who die from the flu virus – and it can be up to many thousands – 90% of them are over 65 years old. So, okay, maybe it’s because of my quadriplegia that I feel so funny about getting a flu vaccine. And just how do these vaccines work? Well, as my doctor told me, flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies are what provide protection against infection because of the virus that is in the vaccine.

Even still, with all this information from the Centers for Disease Control, the whole thing still sounds to me counterintuitive. That is exactly the word, because it’s something that goes against what your intuition would normally tell you. But when you think about it, we do many good things that seem counterintuitive. Like Luke 9, verse 23 and 24 where Jesus says:

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Now here comes the part that goes against your intuition.) For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24)

Talk about counterintuitive! Like, you’re saying that I’m going to find my life by losing it? Jesus, are you sure this is right? Well, guess what? It may sound counterintuitive, but it’s spot on. Lose your life for Christ’s sake; that is, think of others first before yourself; give generously even when you don’t have much; make Jesus famous even when it makes you look bad. Lose your life for Him this way and you will find it.

Something else that’s pretty counterintuitive is Easter. Jesus says in John chapter 11, verse 25, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” Friend, you are only able to live to God when you die to yourself and to this world. Better yet, on that day when you do die, Jesus promises you will live for eternity. And it’s all because of Easter. It’s all because Jesus paved the way with his own resurrection. Now, Easter is right around the corner, and I would love to share more on this idea. So let me send you a pamphlet called Evidence for the Resurrection – it’s a great conversation-starter for people who feel that the whole Christian life itself is a little counterintuitive. Just ask for your copy today on my radio page at joniandfriends.org.

© Joni and Friends

 

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