Teflon or Velcro by Tony Cooke

Teflon or Velcro
Tony Cooke

teflon-velcro“I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”
Did you ever hear that said on the playground as a kid? Today, we might be more prone to think of teflon and velcro.

Teflon is a non-stick coating that’s used on pans and other kinds of cookware. The idea of teflon is that nothing is supposed to stick to it…whatever is cooked on it will simply slide right off.

Velcro is a nylon or polyester fastener made of many very small hooks and loops. The two fabrics are pressed together and form a bond that resists separation. If pulled apart a “ripping” sound results. Velcro often replaces many types of snaps, clasps, zippers, and even shoe strings.

Things slide off teflon, while velcro grabs and holds.

Our spiritual and emotional health is heavily dependent on whether we’re teflon or velcro—on what slides off of us versus what sticks to us. In reality, we need to have both teflon tendencies and velcro tendencies in our lives. Some things need to slide off of us, and some things need to stick to us.

Toward the devil, we need to be teflon. We need to know how to let his words and destructive influences slide off of us. Toward God, we need to be velcro. We need to let all the things of God—His Word and His constructive influence—stick to us.

Consider this paraphrase of Isaiah 54:19 (NKJV).

No weapon formed against you shall prosper [it won’t stick to you, because you’re teflon], and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness [which sticks to them because they’re velcro] is from Me,” says the LORD.

We need to make sure we don’t get these turned around and mixed up. If we’re velcro toward the things of the enemy, and teflon toward the things of God, we suffer.

Teflon Christianity

When Jesus was tempted (Matthew 4:1-11), none of what the enemy threw at him “stuck.” Because of the life of God on the inside of Jesus, He was like teflon to everything that came against Him.

In John 14:30 (NKJV), Jesus said, “…the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.” The Message Version renders this, “…the chief of this godless world is about to attack. But don’t worry—he has nothing on me, no claim on me.”

During His ministry, no temptation or accusation of the enemy “stuck” on Jesus. This trait is not only a privilege reserved for Jesus, but He extended this protection to His disciples as well. Consider what Jesus told His followers in Luke 10:19 (NKJV): “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

Nothing shall by any means hurt you! Is that what you’ve been experiencing? If not, perhaps you’ve not been teflon-coated (maybe teflon is just a modern illustration of the armor of God). In Mark’s version of the Great Commission (Mark 16:15-18), Jesus spoke of certain signs that would follow believers, such as casting out demons, speaking with new tongues, and laying hands of the sick for healing. But Jesus also said, “…they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them…”

Jesus was not advocating foolish practices, but he was telling His followers that as they went about doing the Father’s will, there would be a provision of protection for them—the attacks of the enemy wouldn’t stick!

In Acts 20, Paul spoke of the challenges that he knew were ahead of him. He even referred to “chains and tribulations” that he would face. But then he said, “But none of these things move me…” (Acts 20:24). In other words, he realized he would experience some of these things, but he knew they couldn’t stick! When the viper bit him (Acts 28:3), he shook it off into the fire and felt no harm.

How is your teflon coating doing?

  1. Are you able to deflect discouragement and unjust criticisms?
  2. Are you staying free from offense, bitterness, and unforgiveness?
  3. Have you released pain from your past that would hinder your future?

Velcro Christianity

When we speak of Velcro Christianity, we’re talking about having an aggressive attitude toward the things of God…a tenacity that seizes upon what God has said and refuses to let go.

Jesus spoke of the kind of person who brings forth fruit from the word in Luke 8:15 (MSG). “But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest.” This is a velcro attitude!

Eleazar is an Old Testament figure who had a velcro attitude toward his assignment from God. When God’s people were attacked, we read, “But Eleazar stood his ground and killed Philistines right and left until he was exhausted—but he never let go of his sword! A big win for GOD that day” (2 Samuel 23:10, MSG). The NKJV says that, “…his hand stuck to the sword.”

Here’s a great lesson: If you’ll stick to the Sword, the Sword will stick to you! Eleazar didn’t just stick to his sword, but he stuck to his assignment. He was like velcro when it came to the Word of God and the plan of God for his life.

The believers who received the book of Hebrews in the New Testament were individuals who were in the process of becoming teflon when they should have been velcro, and vice versa. They were letting slip the promises that should have been sticking! And the pressures they should have been letting slide off were sticking. Consider these passages about what was slipping and what was sticking.

Hebrews 2:1 (KJV)
1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

Hebrews 3:6 (NKJV)
6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

Hebrews 3:14 (NKJV)
14  For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end…

Hebrews 10:35-36 (NKJV)
35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise…

A Time for Teflon and a Time for Velcro

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are examples of individuals who knew when to be velcro and when to be teflon. When threatened, they were velcro regarding their trust and confidence, and their consecration toward God.

Daniel 3:17-18 (NKJV)
17 …our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

That’s velcro, and because of their velcro toward the right things, God helped them have a teflon coating toward what would have destroyed them. Even though Nebuchadnezzar had the three men thrown into the fire, they were untouched.

Daniel 3:27 (NKJV)
27 …they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.

What are we being told? When it comes to the things we’ve received—the Word of God and our confidence—we can’t let these things slip away and slide off of us. We’ve got to be velcro. We’ve got to stick to some things and let some things stick to us!

When it comes to the pressures and problems of the world, we need to develop some teflon tendencies… we need to let those things roll off of us, casting every care upon the Lord.