Are you willing to “go all in”?

Each year, on New Year’s Day, I invite our family to go out in the backyard and jump in the pool. It’s a family tradition that we’ve had for many years. We call it the “Polar Bear Club”.    I don’t need to tell you that the water is always cold on New Year’s Day!    We have been in the pool when there is ice on the surface of the water.   There’s no preparing yourself for just how cold that water’s going to be.

There’s two ways to join the polar bear club.  1. You can slowly wade in the water. Allowing your body to adjust to the temperature over time. That feels like torture to me. 2.Or you can just dive headfirst! I prefer diving in!  I try to get in- get to the other side of the pool- and get it over with as quickly as possible. There is no way of preparing yourself for how cold that water is going to be.  So, I just “go all in” and get it over with.

Throwing everything at a problem- including the kitchen sink

We all have times in life when we’re facing challenges. Sometimes you can gradually chip away at a problem other times you have to go all in!  It’s the difference between dipping your toe in the water and jumping in head first.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26: A man poses for a picture with a kitchen sink at the Climate Camp on Black Heath on August 26, 2009 in London, England. Protesters are due to occupy an area of London for a week long campaign to highlight climate change and to lobby for Government action ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Some problems in life are “go all in” problems. If you don’t jump in head first, you can’t solve the problem. When you’re facing those kind of problems do you throw everything at it – including the kitchen sink-  or are you the kind of person that tends to hold back and try to dip a toe in?   The reason why we include the phrase “including the kitchen sink” is because it’s the last thing to get moved in a house.   The kitchen sink is hard to move. It’s attached to the wall. It’s fixed to the cabinets.  When you change the kitchen sink you’re changing everything. To throw in the kitchen sink is to throw everything you’ve got at a problem.

Have you ever been “all in” on a problem? Has there ever been in a time in your life where you’ve thrown everything – even the kitchen sink – at a problem? If so, you know it’s scary.

Is it worth the risk?

It’s scary to “go all in”. We don’t “go all in” on a problem because of the risk. When you go all in, you leave nothing in reserve. You’ve got nothing left to draw on if it doesn’t work.   It’s insane to go all in on a problem that’s not worth the risk. Before you throw the kitchen sink at a problem you really need to weigh the risks.

Was there ever a time where Jesus went all in on a problem? Was there ever a time where Jesus threw the kitchen sink at a problem? Yes!  What could possibly be a problem worth throwing the kitchen sink in for Jesus? It was Heaven and Hell, life and death, sin and salvation. In Luke 10:1 Jesus sends out his disciples- all of them!  Luke tells us that Jesus sent 72 disciples to fix a problem. Don’t get hung up on this number. I believe the number represents Jesus sending the whole church. Jesus didn’t hold anyone back. He sent everybody to fix this problem in Luke 10:2.

There was more ministry then ministers in Israel.   Jesus realized this requires everyone’s immediate attention.  Notice, in Luke 10:4 Jesus sends them out with nothing on their back.  Basically, he’s saying, “Don’t let anything slow you down. Go immediately and start telling people that the kingdom of God is at hand”. If Jesus feels this kind of urgency- shouldn’t we? If Jesus is willing to “go all in” to reach men and women who were on the edge of Heaven and Hell- shouldn’t we?

What are you willing to “go all in” for?

What are you willing to risk everything for?  Are you as compelled by the glory of God as Jesus was? Do you care as much about men and women who don’t know God as Jesus did? Are you willing to give, and go to the extent that Jesus was? If the spiritual condition of your family and friends isn’t worth risking everything for- what is?

If you call yourself a follower of Jesus – don’t dip your toe into the spiritual condition of your family and friends- dive in head first! This is a problem worth “going all in” on because eternity hangs in the balance.

Further reading