The Curse of конечно.

The curse of конечно – conyeshna (pronounced: con – yesh – na, where the yesh is yes with a sh at the end.)

I want to explain this phrase that God put on my heart about 10 years ago.  I don’t remember exactly how it started, but God continues to use it in my life and I hope you will let Him use it in yours as well.

Have you ever noticed how we often assume things when we are talking?  For example.  Who is the most important person in your life?

My wife and children come to mind first, how about you?  My son and daughter-in-law are also important.  But my granddaughter is the most important person in my life.  Oops, that’s not right.  Denise, yea, she is the most important person in my life.  (That was purposeful and to be a joke.  FYI)

Is the first person that came to your mind truly the most important person, are they really?

Was your first answer Jesus?  Isn’t He the most important person in your life?  Did you “assume” that I was meaning the most important being someone here on earth?  I am assuming, a second example of assuming, that you are a Christian and that you have accepted God’s grace.  When was the last time you really felt the weight of your eternal demise until God revealed to you His redemption at the cost of His beloved Son?

Now, how would you answer the original question?  Oh, well, OF COURSE Jesus is the most important person.  He is my Savior and my Lord.  Of course I meant that Jesus is the most important person in my life.

Conyeshna  is the Russian word in Latin characters meaning – of course.

Recently I shared a message about the sheep and the goats out of Matthew 25.  Verse 41 records that Jesus taught the goats are those “who are cursed”.  What does it mean that someone is cursed?  Let’s explore the answer generally and not specifically in context of Matthew 25.

If there were such things as magic spell and curses?  What do all the good people desire to happen to a curse?  In all the fairy tails the curses require someone to come along with the ability to “break” it.

Therefore, the “curse of the conyeshna” is the curse of of course.  It sounds so much better to me in Russian.  Here is the same idea in Polish – the curse of oczywiście.  This to me is also way cooler than in English, but that is not so much here-nor-there.

The curse of of course reminds me that I need help from The One who can break my tendency to leave out the most important.  He is teaching me how to get better at my first thoughts and statements to be the overlooked, the sometimes assumed, or worse the too often forgotten.  This phrase reminds me to search for the best answer instead of just what comes to mind.

I believe the greatest lesson I am learning, out of many, because of seeking to apply the curse of conyeshna at all times is to be reminded of who is the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16).  Keeping in mind that He is my Lord and King reminds me that I am His bond-servant (Romans 1:1) like Paul.  The result is learning to live more intentionally and faithfully to seeking and obeying God’s will.

This is just the tip-of-the-iceberg regarding this subject for me.  The application of this principle is changing how I talk, what I believe, how I study God’s word, and everything else.  But that is for another blog.

I encourage you to let Jesus, the only one who can, break the curse of conyeshna by His teaching you every day as His disciple through prayer, His word, and the Holy Spirit.

Importance of 1 Degree

Lets imagine you went to a big sporting event by car.   You parked with the thousands of people in a huge parking lot. The game ends (in your team’s favor of course) and you begin the process of returning to your car. If you know exactly what direction to walk from the correct exit you will find your car. What happens if you are 1 degree angle or more off of the exact direction?

I know not everyone likes math problems, but if you want to find your car and get home after the game then we need to do a little math. In order to make the calculations we need to establish a few facts. Thankfully this is a hypothetical example and we can choose easy numbers. The car is 100 yards from the stadium exit. The exact direction is 0 degrees.

So if you walk 0 degrees for 100 yards, you will literally bump into the car. Have you ever walked perfectly straight in a parking lot to your car? It is impossible.

What happens if you are 10 degrees off of the perfect direction? Walk 100 yards just 10 degree angle off of perfect and you will be over 17 yards (more than 52 feet) from your car, and you don’t know which direction in the dark. Lets try to find your car.

Parking spaces are about (Wikipedia) 16 feet long. In the end you are three parking spaces from your car and thankfully you can probably find it from this distance.

Now lets make it more personal. You attend a huge conference hall with your 6th grader. You leave them at a booth to go to the bathroom 200 feet away. If you are just ten degrees off in your return, you will miss finding your child by 35 feet. Only one degree off and you are still 3 and a half feet off the mark.

What about something that is one mile away? One degree off at this distance and you are over 92 feet from your goal.

Have I convinced you that one degree can be really significant? Next time we will apply this to our spiritual lives. I think you will find this is really important, important enough to change your life.

1 Degree Principle Introduction

For a few years I believe the Lord has been teaching me a principle related to living and God’s will.

Actually this principle is rooted in a much longer-term spiritual learning concept for me – God’s will, God’s way. For about 10 years I have been seeking the Lord’s direction for what it means to live according to not only God’s will, but also as He designed and therefore God’s way. The 1 Degree Principle is one important part of God’s will, God’s way, but only one part.

I think my pondering over the 1 degree started when I was preparing messages on the Sermon on the Mount at the InterNational Church of Wroclaw (INCW). Primarily Matthew 5:48 caught my attention as most translations of the Bible say “be perfect”.

Though it is true the verb in verse 48 is in the future tense, therefore it is that we “will be made perfect”, and I learned it is more about being mature and or complete, it still remains that there is a spiritual type of path for believers.

Add John 14:6 with Matthew 7:13-23 and we get an even better, I believe, idea of the overall process Jesus was teaching. He is the “way” and we are to follow Him (Matthew 16:24).   Jesus implies in Matthew 7 that He is the spiritual “narrow” way, and stating it another way He is the perfect way or path.

That led to me wondering what happens when I fail to follow, as it were perfectly, Jesus according to God’s will (Matthew 7:21-23)?  Thankfully it is by God’s grace, not only for salvation, but also the long-term process of making us “mature and complete to lack nothing” (James 1:2-3) that any of us can spiritually follow Jesus at any time or in any way (read Romans 7:13-25 for an example).  In the end it is God who is truly doing the “hard work” of making it possible for any of us to follow Jesus.

Always keeping God’s grace in mind, it still remains that whenever I swerve even 1 degree from obedience to God’s will, ie following Jesus, I am going down the wrong path. It seems so minor at first to be only a tiny bit off of following Jesus, but the long-term affects can be catastrophic.

My intent is to continue to hone my understanding of this principle as I seek the Lord for His insight on the subject through the Holy Spirit. In response to the search I also intend to begin documenting not only what I learn, but how it affects us in application as well.

I would be honored if you feel led by the Lord to join me in this journey so don’t hesitate to write any comments, insights, suggestions, and or kind disagreement.

Serving Our Savior