The Jesus Juke
Before I drove a Nissan Juke, I didn't know what a Juke was. I looked it up and discovered it's a football term for a fake-out. It's when you shuffle your feet back and forth, moving in a zigzag fashion, to get past your opponent.
Like a football player juking you at the last second and going a different direction, the Jesus Juke is when someone takes what is clearly a joke filled conversation and completely reverses direction into something serious and holy.
In this particular case, when I tweeted a joke about the guy doing pushups, someone tweeted me back, “Imagine If we were that dedicated in our faith, family, and finances?”
I was fine with that idea, I was, but it was a Jesus Juke. We went from, “Whoa, there’s a mountain of a man doing pushups next to the Starbucks at the airport,” to a serious statement about the lack of discipline we have in our faith and our family and our finances.
I don’t know how to spell it, but in my head I heard that sad trumpet sound of “whaaaa, waaaa.”
And that wasn’t even a bad Jesus Juke. I didn’t mind that statement at all. That guy seemed fine. I’ve heard much worse. I once tweeted about going to see Conan O’Brien live and how big the crowd was. Someone wrote back, “If we held a concert for Jesus and gave away free tickets, no one would come.” Whaaa, waaaa.
Chances are you’ve experienced this. Someone pulled the Christian version of the Debbie Downer, they threw out a bit of Jesus Juke on you. If you have, or even if you haven’t, there are three things we all need to know about this particular move.
1. It generates shame.
The Jesus Juke is a great way to tell a friend, “I wish you possessed the uber holiness I do and were instead talking about sweet baby Jesus in this conversation.” It’s like a tiny little “shame grenade,” you throw it into an otherwise harmless conversation and then watch it splatter everyone in guilt and condemnation.
2. It never leads to good conversation.
I’ve been Jesus Juked dozens of times in my life and I’ve never once seen it lead to a productive, healthy conversation. You might think it will before you juke, but what usually happens is just raw amounts of awkwardness, similar to how I felt sitting in a theater watching the Last Airbender.
3. I’ve never met someone who was “juked to Jesus.”
I once tweeted, “No one’s ever said: ‘The way you bitterly mock other Christians helped me begin a life-changing love of Jesus’ (Be kind).” I wrote that because I wanted to remind us that our jerkiness never led folks to Christ. I don’t think our jukes do either. I don’t really see it as a conversion technique. It’s more of a conversation killer technique.
I hope we all keep talking about Jesus. I hope we talk about him lots and lots. I hope he defines our life and conversations. But if I tell you that when it comes to My Little Pony, I tend to prefer Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie and that Toola Roola has been riding their coattails for years, please don’t respond, “You know who created ponies? Our Lord God did, that’s who.”
Great insight by Mr. Acuff. I must admit, I get Jesus-juked quite often, like last night on Facebook. I told people I was excited about three things happening next week (new iPhone announcement, new Nissan Rogue being unveiled, new season of Sons of Anarchy). One person responded, "Is Jesus returning that day? I'll go with that. The rest? Ppphhtttt." Yeah, I got Jesus-juked.
How about you — ever been Jesus-juked?