Whole Lot of Shaking Going On

Whole Lot of Shaking Going On

Why and where did the “hand shake” originate? In tradition handshakes originated as a gesture of “peace” by demonstrating that the right hand held no weapon. Today, shaking hands is a standard greeting as you meet folks. A strong handshake may display strength, while a weak handshake (as a “limp fish” or “dead fish”) may display weakness. In July 1977, New Jersey Mayor Joseph Lazarow broke the record by shaking more than 11,000 hands in a single day (Guinness Book). First, I would like to state, that at times I enjoy a “well placed” hug or good “hand shake” so please do not shun me because of this article… Why do we do what we do? I have observed that in many churches there is a “whole lot of shakin goin on.” Have you ever thought about how many times you shake hands in one church service? You shake hands as… (1) you enter and greet one another, (2) you sit down in the pew, (3) you stand and sing, (4) you enter the choir, (5) the choir comes down, (6) you have fellowship time, (7) you are asked to turn and shake hands with visitors, (8) finally, you shake hands as you leave. Think about it! How many times did you shake hands with the same people? As one man said, “It makes sense if you don’t think about it.” But when you think about it, does it make sense? In daily life you do not shake hands with people as you enter a place, as you see others, or when you leave. In church some just shake hands and never look at the person. Does “shakin hands” really display more fellowship, friendship, or has it just become a ritual? The closing hymn could be, “God be with you till we shake hands again.” Now the purpose of this article is not to stop shakin hands with me or others, but to realize that many practices in church have simply become vain repetitions without purpose. “…use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do” (Matthew 6:7). Not only in shakin hands, but it also seems to be the same with flowery words as… tremendous, awesome, great, grand, wonderful, fantastic, and fabulous. As one man said, “He was waxing elephants.” I feel it would be good to just be sincere without flattery. Say what you mean and mean what you say. For example, when you shake hands or say, “I love you” it should mean something, look them in the eyes, pat them on the shoulder, give a hug, and let them know that you are sincere. This should not only be a practice in church, but also in our homes, with our friends and especially with God. Do not lose the true value of good relationships because of vain repetitions, because we sincerely need each other! These are Words of Wisdom

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