Check Your Polarity

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, July 4, 2015 8 comments

by Nathan Buck

This week, our spare fridge in the garage starting acting funny. I checked the bottom freezer compartment and saw ice build up. Even though it's a frostless fridge, it's very old and I figured it could just be struggling with defrosting. So, I pulled the plug and let it thaw. When the ice was almost completely melted it was late at night, and in my bare feet I was removing the cover plate to the condenser coils. My fingertips started to tingle. I thought it was just fatigue. Then I felt it again.

I started grabbing miscellaneous parts of the fridge and noticed that I was getting an electrical shock. I immediately thought there was a grounding issue and checked the wires I could get to. When I pulled the main plug, I discovered that it had been plugged in upside down. We bought the fridge used, and the repairman we bought it from had clipped off the ground prong from the plug. When it was plugged in upside down, the polarity was reversed. Reversing polarity on an appliance bypasses the safety fuses and insulation, which can cause appliances to malfunction, shock people, or even catch fire. I’m grateful that I only got a shock!

Why am I sharing this? Read Romans 8:9-17. Paul is finishing the section on living by the flesh vs. living by the Spirit.

When Paul says, “For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live,” he is in some ways asking us to check our polarity - if we are plugged in correctly.

When we get it backwards or upside down, and live to please our desires and self-interests, we are on a path of destruction. The word he uses for “must” in that verse carries the idea of inevitability. It may not feel like things are malfunctioning and life may even seem normal, but there is an undercurrent that is leading us to inevitable downfalls. All the Worldview Warriors bloggers have talked about some of those downfalls over the last couple weeks. A self-centered life in a self-centered world eventually self-destructs.

We were not designed to live that way, and through Jesus Christ, we can live according to the Spirit of God - living in the fullness of His life and purpose. If we are willing to re-orient our life in, on, and through Him, we can live in the promise Paul writes in verses 15-17.

My fridge has its plug re-oriented and its polarity is restored. It not only appears normal, but now it is restored. It can now operate in the fullness of its design and safety features, and I can use it without being shocked or having a risk of fire.

What about you? How is your polarity? Are you oriented to the flesh, or to God? What dangerous currents are running through your life that could destroy? Will you consider trading the upside down way of living, for God's promise of life and relationship in verses 15-17?

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T K Johnson said...

Nathan - You are very lucky! Although 110 volts A.C. seldom delivers a lethal shock,
making bodily contact with such a voltage while standing barefoot in water (!) is a very
dangerous act. You are lucky to be alive.

Since your bible makes no mention of electrical appliances, I find it curious that you would turn to Romans (or any other archaic book) for guidance in this matter. IMHO, it would be better if you turned to an electrical engineering textbook. Or, you might want to look up the relevant safety standards from Underwriter's Laboratories:

Your post says "My fridge has its plug re-oriented and its polarity is restored." You didn't say whether or not you have restored the safety ground (round pin that usually connects to the green wire in the appliance cord). You absolutely MUST have a safety ground to reduce the risk of future shocks. An ohm meter should show a very low resistance between the round ground pin on the cord and any bare metal on the refrigerator's frame. (Perform this check with the appliance unplugged).

Please post this out of consideration for the safety of those who read this blog.

Charlie said...

Thomas, I think the safety issues here are rather obvious to most readers. I'll let Nathan answer for himself why he turned to Romans, but here is what I see:

There is a big problem with physical safety when electrical polarity is reversed. Likewise, there is a big problem with spiritual safety when you live in accordance to your own desires, instead of the how God designed us. It's called an analogy. Using something physical to address a spiritual issues.

If you notice, we are going through the Book of Romans in our blog posts this year. And Nathan was referencing the passage Katie Erickson and Logan Ames are specifically writing about for this particular week. If you don't like us citing Scripture in our posts, deal with it, because that is what you are going to get.

T K Johnson said...

Charlie wrote, " I think the safety issues here are rather obvious to most readers." Well evidently the safety issue wasn't obvious to Nathan. Had it been obvious to him, he might have corrected the dangerous wiring before risking his life touching the faulty appliance.

WRT, "It's called an analogy." Charlie, in the future you might consider avoiding such condescending statements when you post. Otherwise, you come off as a ... I won't use the word that comes to mind.

For more information on the correct (and SAFE) wiring of electrical cords, consult the NEMA standards:

T K Johnson said...

Electrical safety isn't "obvious" to everyone.

Each year, there is an estimated average of 60 electrocutions associated with consumer products. The three most common product categories associated with electrocutions are small appliance, power tool, and lighting equipment

More than 30,000 non-fatal shock accidents occur each year.

Home electrical distribution and lighting systems are the fourth leading cause of home fires, after cooking equipment, heating equipment, and intentional fires.


Charlie said...

Thomas, you really love dwelling on points not being made. I wish you'd read our posts with the same tenacity as you read about electrical safety. And try to comprehend what is being said with the same comprehension skills. You totally missed what I said AND what Nathan was saying. If you read the post, Nathan said he realized things were wrong with the cord AFTER the fact and if you read the post with any kind of intention to understand it, you'd get the hint that Nathan KNEW he was in a dangerous situation. Hence why he used this in this post. Both Nathan (I assume) and I agree that the situation he was in was a potentially very bad case. And his point in this post (which you refuse to recognize) is as much of a dangerous situation he was in, even more so YOU are in for wanting to rule your own life. And as you said, "it's not obvious to everyone". At least Nathan had the clarity of mind to realize he was in a bad situation. Do you?

T K Johnson said...

What I "love dwelling on" are the various aspects of reality. What do I mean by reality? I like the definition given by the late Philip K. Dick (science fiction writer). "Reality is whatever doesn't go away after you stop believing in it." The behavior of electrons, electricity and electronic devices are all part of reality as Dick defines it. The book of Romans... not so much.

Charlie said...

That's a fine definition of reality. It's fine you like it. But you certainly don't believe it. Because the Book of Romans, along with the rest of Scripture will LITERALLY outlast every aspect of science and anything you can throw at it. Yes, it WILL outlast the universe itself and the laws of science we have discovered. Romans and the rest of the Bible, including Genesis, has withstood over 2000 years of far more intense scrutiny that you can research, let alone offer. Reality is, NOTHING can challenge the Bible and remain on its feet. The fact that it is still here is proof. You do not believe the definition you gave, because the Bible passes that definition better than the behavior of electrons, electricity and the devices. You do not believe that definition, because you show you believe what you want to believe. You don't believe the Bible. That's fine. It's not going away. You will pass and I will pass. The Bible will remain. You can hate on it, spit on it, mock it, ridicule it all you want. It's not going away. And what it says, remains true. Whether you believe in it or not.

Worldview Warriors said...

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