Today's Paper Latest Sports Core Values Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles Archive Story ideas iPad

OPINION | BRENETTE WILDER: Hokey Pokey Sacrifice

by Brenette Wilder Special to The Commercial | May 20, 2022 at 2:39 a.m.
Brenette Wilder


God, we need your help to be dedicated to your service wholeheartedly. Enable us to surrender every area of our lives in a manner acceptable to you. Give us fresh ideas in how to love one another. Thank you for not giving up on us when we stumble. Thank you for a fresh start each day. Because of Jesus, our old life is gone. Thank you for a new life with you!


Line dancing is popular in many cultures. One culture may boogie to the electric slide, another the Hawaiian hukilau. Some people may favor the boot scootin' boogie. Regardless of the type of line dance that is popular within your community, all of them create synchronized movements that everyone enjoys together.

I remember, as a child, that the hokey pokey was one of my favorite dances. The lyrics to the song go something like this: "You put your right foot in; you put your right foot out; you put your right foot in; and you shake it all about. You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around; that's what it's all about."

You repeat the lyrics for all body parts, such as your arms, your legs, your head, and feet, and the finale ends with putting the whole-self in. Every one of your body parts would jiggle, sway, and shake like a bowl of happy Jell-O. Each oscillating movement felt like pure fun and your body looked like a gelatin mess.

This whole-self in concept has Rom. 12:1-2 written all over it. Believers are asked to go all-in by dedicating their whole bodies to worship God. It starts with demolishing the old ways (Lev. 4:1-5:13; 6:24-30), in order to create a new all-inclusive way by faith (Eph. 2:8, John 3:16). By doing so, nothing is off-limits, not even our lifestyle.

Whole-self living is an appropriate response by Christians. It's our reaction to the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us (John 3:16, John 14:16). No person or animal has to ever die again for our sins. Because now, the sacrifice is our daily living and how we think. Followers of Jesus should shed off what displeases Him and strive to excel at what pleases Him. It's our reasonable commitment.

And, whatever you do, keep your eyes on the sacrifices God is requiring of you. Your sacrifice may be a loose tongue, while someone else may be casting off pride. Don't expect all sacrifices to look alike. We are uniquely and wonderfully made by God. Each person should renew their frame of mind as the Spirit leads them.

Remember you can't do this without help. God has given each believer the Holy Spirit and a portion of faith to accomplish our individual duties in life. When we transform our mind in agreement with Christ, we experience the perfect will of God that links individuals into one complex body functioning as a whole. One person will present their whole-self as a living sacrifice. Then another. And another. As we synchronize and combine our spiritual gifts, services, and talents, we become an extension of God for one another.

The practical application tells the stay-at-home mother to transform her home life to bring glory to God by using the measure of faith God has given her. Those who provide care in the hospitals or at home, do the best that you can. If you work in an office, integrate quality in everything you do. Approach each day functioning in excellence. In doing so, each person's outcome will yield a harvest in-line with God's purpose.

DEFINITIONS (specific to Rom. 12:1-2)

Sacrifice -- Thusia, the act of sacrificing or offering; spoken of the bodies of Christians in Rom. 12:1.

Acceptable -- Euarestos, well-pleasing, grateful, agreeable. Used with reference to God; that which God wills and recognizes.

Service -- Latreia, divine service; servitude; religious service; worship. Sacrifice seems especially to be the service denoted.

Renewing -- Anakainosis, renewal; a renovation which makes a person different than the past.

Mind -- Nous, frame of mind. The organ of mental perception, apprehension, understanding, intelligent faculty, consciousness preceding actions.

Brenette Wilder of Lee's Summit, Mo., (formerly of Altheimer, Ark.), is founder of Kansas City Teen Summit, blogger at (, and author of Netted Together (

Editor's note: Pastors, ministers or other writers interested in writing for this section may submit articles for consideration to Please include your phone number and the name and location of your church or ministry. Writers should have a connection to Southeast Arkansas.

Print Headline: Hokey Pokey Sacrifice


Sponsor Content