When Clint Eastwood’s character in “Unforgiven” was asked about the order in which he shot a room full of outlaws, he replied,” I’ve always been lucky in the order”. The order matters in gunfighting and in almost everything else in life. I have a good many conversations over email with people who see videos that I’ve posted. I almost never get emails from strangers who agree with me. The emails I get are from people who disagree with something I’ve said. Most are irritated and some are downright angry over some minor point.  Sometimes it’s only a word choice that I’ve used. Their faith has lost its order.

No one ever sends me a message saying “Hey, you’re wrong, Jesus is the Savior of the world”. That never happens because we all agree on the main things. People get bent out of shape over some point of theology that we may see differently. And there is something about our brains and our faith that causes us to get frustrated and angry and even fuels hatred at times when others think differently about the finer points of Christianity. What is really going on when we allow these disagreements to fester? Our faith is out of order. We’ve lost perspective of first and second things.

I like to build houses. I’ve been doing it on the side for many years. I know the sequence. If you get the sequence wrong, the outcome will be a disaster. There are only a few things that you can interchange the order within building a house and get away with it. It’s the same with math, cooking, manufacturing, and almost everything else. The order matters. If we get the order right our faith and relationships will thrive. If not, we will have lots of trouble. If you only remember one thing, you’ll do well. Keep Jesus, (God incarnate, the Savior of the world, and the sinless Sacrificial Lamb) first in all your religious thinking and conversations, and enjoy listening to and considering the thoughts and beliefs of your brothers and sisters in Christ. You might actually learn something in an unexpected place!