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Lessons on Christianity from..."Psych"

Posted by Tom Rojahn on

Recently my wife and I came across the cable television show Psych on Netflix. Maybe you've seen it. If so, chances are you're cracking a smile right now remembering the mass moments of funny that occurred over the eight seasons it aired. For those of you who haven't heard of the program (like me until recently), please allow me to add some context.

The comedy/drama (more comedy than drama) follows two friends, Shawn Spencer and Burton "Gus" Guster, who have been best buds since childhood. Most episodes begin with a short vignette of these two as children in the 80s and then quickly move to the present day. In the present, Shawn and Gus are reluctantly hired, though secretly admired, by the Santa Barbara Police Department as "psychic consultants" for their uncanny ability to solve crimes.

The reality is that Shawn is no psychic. He was trained from a young age by his father, a former detective for the Santa Barbara Police Department, to be an extraordinary observer. The wittiness of the show is reflected in Shawn's eccentric crime solving tactics—and obscure 80s references—which he usually displays by fabricating psychic visions.

Perhaps I’m seeking a reason to justify spending 35 minutes of my time camped out in front of my TV, but here are some observations of my own, from Psych, for living out the Christian life:

Discipleship starts at home.
Shawn was a remarkable observer not because he woke up one day and was miraculously able to notice the things that everyone else missed; rather, day after day, his father took the time to teach and train his son to examine his surroundings. Even in the present, Shawn's father continues to coach him.

As parents and grandparents we have the privilege to teach, instruct, and train our children about our glorious God and the great rescue He offers: "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up" (Deuteronomy 6:7-8). 

In other words, discipleship starts at home. Over time, I hope that this blog becomes a space to share ideas and encourage each other to pass on the greatest message ever told to our children.

The Christian life is not meant to be lived alone.
Since childhood, Shawn and Gus have been side by side, through thick and thin. Gus is the only person outside of Shawn’s family who knows he’s not a psychic. And when Shawn gets a little carried away, it's his pharmaceutical sales-rep buddy who’s right there to guide him through it and remind him of what's important.

We all need a "Gus." Someone who will be there for you in the good times and the hard times, someone who knows the truth about you and prays for you, and someone who loves you enough to tell you that you’re not the greatest, but will point to the one who is. "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity" (Proverbs 17:17).

We have the joy of sharing the truth with others.
As Lead Psychic Detective, Shawn's attention to detail is so spot-on that he's able to solve the most difficult of mysteries and unveil the truth.

As followers of Jesus, God has made known to us the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages. And if you know Jesus, then he has chosen you to go out into this world and unveil the truth (Colossians 1:26-27).

So keep watching, have fun, and go chat with someone about a mystery. And then tell us what you think in the comments below!

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