Are you, or perhaps someone you love, experiencing these symptoms? Sudden spasms of uncontrollable movement followed by shrieks of anger, unexplainable loss of direction, or an embarrassing loss of control in high pressure situations? Well, as much as I am embarrassed to admit this, I am coming forward to identify as someone who struggles in this area. I mean, it happened right in front of my beautiful wife. And even though I know I am getting older and it wasn’t even my fault, I still felt a flash of humiliation anyways. Maybe my bravery in admitting this will help others to come forward. Let me share my story… there I was, minding my own business, just watching for everything to line up just right so I could move forward… and then disaster struck. I wasn’t even doing anything but waiting patiently for my turn and coordinating my next move with my wife, and then it HAPPENED. I couldn’t believe it, she couldn’t believe it… and yet there it was. I just tuned around, slowly walked away from her, and then just kept walking until I walked off the edge. All of our hard work just to get to this point of the level was completely erased because we, like so many others around the world, are impacted by the pain and frustration of Joy-Con drift.
If you, like us, have a Nintendo Switch console then you may have already felt this pain as well. After about two years of faithful service, one of our Joy-Con controllers just started inexplicably drifting off on it’s own. At first it was almost imperceptible, and I thought maybe I was just playing poorly. But then it became much more pronounced, as my characters in games would just start moving on their own even when the controller wasn’t being held. Suddenly, all those previous “errors” starting making a lot more sense as I realized I wasn’t losing my gaming skills… it was my controller that was letting me down. As soon as I switched to using a separate wireless controller my problems disappeared completely. But even though swapping for another controller finally allowed me to finish those levels that required very precise inputs with no room for such errors, my true problem still remained. My beloved joy-cons that came with my Switch from day one were flawed, and all of my personal efforts to recalibrate them had no effect. After watching multiple Youtube videos and listening to the advice from others who had this same problem I had finally come to this horrible yet obvious conclusion… my Joy-Con controllers would have to be sent off to the manufacturer for repair.
It may seem like a simple solution, but here is the problem. I have procrastinated on this soooooo long that I have come to accept that my controller is flawed and just kind of expect random controller based deaths to occur on a regular basis now. I just don’t want to go through the hassle of contacting Nintendo, shipping these off, being without them until they finally get returned… it just seems like such a pain. I would rather just accept them for the flawed creation that they are and deal with the ramifications of their unpredictable failure as it occurs. And now that I know I am not the only one struggling with this, it is easier to just accept things the way they are then take the time and effort to get them fixed… even though Nintendo will do so for FREE if I will simply let them.
Does any of this sound familiar yet? And no, I am not just talking about Joy-Con controller failure here… I am talking about US… you and me. Here is the tough reality that we must accept… as valiantly as we have tried to survive and thrive on this planet by playing this game with a controller that was flawed from day one… we can’t do it. Sure, we can fake it on the easy parts, and every now and then we may even get lucky on the more difficult parts and our “Joy-Con drift” won’t reveal itself. But make no mistake… it is still in there, waiting to pounce at the worst possible time and undo all of the hard work we have done to try to conceal it, adapt to it, or make excuses for it. It is our sinful nature as human beings… we were born with it, we have fought with it, and on some occasions we have all simply decided to accept it and run with it. And we have to do something about it, because all of our best efforts to repair it simply do not work.
Over the last two weeks we have taken a deeper dive into a few of the critical foundations of the Christian faith in our “Knowing is Half the Battle” series. If you missed those, I would strongly recommend catching up on them first in the locations below before we move further:
But this week we are stepping even DEEPER into those waters, because there is a prerequisite to each of these that is often misunderstood or perhaps glazed over in our Christian walk. It is the concept of REPENTENCE, and in every instance Christ and His followers shared the Good News with others, it is the absolute starting point of the journey…
Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Without belaboring the point, it is clear that repentance is the foundational aspect of moving forward in the Kingdom of God. But many of us have probably heard that word so many times that we may be guilty of glossing over it’s actual meaning. The word repentance used here in the Greek for each of these verse is “metanoeó“, which is actually a compound word. The two words that make this up are “metá” and “noiéō”:
“metá” – with (“after with”), implying “change afterward” (i.e. what results after the activity)
“noiéō” – to apply mental effort needed to reach “bottom-line” conclusions
So when we place these together we get the definition “after a change of mind, to think differently afterwards”. THIS is the definition of repentance… the only Scriptural definition. Yet so many of people I speak to consider repentance to be some “secret password” to enter the clubhouse of God… simply quote a sinner’s prayer saying we are sorry for our sins, ask for forgiveness, and “repentance” has occurred. But the word repentance, taken literally, has NOTHING to do with simply being remorseful for past conduct or its consequences. Yes, we should absolutely feel convicted of the sins we have committed, and it is absolutely right that we seek forgiveness for them. But repentance is not merely some prayer we say… it is a change in the way THINK. And it is for those outside of the path of Christ as well as those who have already signed up for the journey. But don’t take MY word for it… take the words of our Creator:
Revelation 2:12-16 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,
‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
Not convinced? Well, like my close personal friend Captain America says, “I can do this all day”…
Revelation 3:1-3 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,
‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent.
This is the Lord speaking to the CHURCHES… and He even specifically commended the church at Pergamos for holding to His name and choosing not to deny the faith, which carries the obvious implication that they are within the faith. But they STILL needed to repent… to “change their mind and think differently” about sinful conduct that remained present even AFTER their conversion. Here is the painful, Joy-Con drifting truth… salvation in Christ does not completely remove our sinful nature. It gives us access to the One who we can reach out to in our moment of need for the strength and guidance to overcome those temptations as we see in 1 Corinthians 10:13…
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
If you are confused at why your conversion to following Christ did not immediately remove all of the temptations out of your life, don’t fret. And do not for ONE SECOND believe the lie of the enemy that this somehow means your conversion was illegitimate, fake, or non-existent simply because you still face temptations and battle your sinful nature. Here is a secret… we ALL do. Me, you, the big pastor of the mega-church down the road… and even the Apostle Paul…
Romans 7:15-25 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
I know that was a lot to read, but it is CRITICAL that we all understand this. Christians still face temptation… Christians still wrestle with their sinful nature… Christians still SIN. Through CHRIST and Him alone can we be have deliverance from these sinful desires and fleshly urges. But it is not some magical, supernatural, super spiritual even that occurs that makes us rise above these things. Look closely at what Paul said at the end… with my MIND I serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. There it is… the same root word for mind that we found earlier in the word “repentance”. This is a changing of the way we THINK, which in turn changes the way we ACT. Repentance is a deliberate, conscious, mental choice to view our temptation to sin DIFFERENTLY than we did before.
It is our sinful human nature that causes us to “drift”… but what we do about that drifting is up to US. We can keep holding these same Joy-Con controllers in our hands, try to do this in our own strength and determination, and simply accept that this is the way it is. Or… we can take our “controller” back to the manufacturer for replacement, even if it is inconvenient, difficult, or a longer process than we would like. In this analogy, it is our MIND that is the “controller” that must be renewed, and it is not a one-time action, even though that would be very convenient. It is something we will have to bring back to Him for calibrations DAILY, and THROUGHOUT the day, until our time here is over. Repentance at the time of our conversion to Christ is not a one-time replacement of our mind… it is simply step ONE of the process.
So… your JoyCon likes to drift. Mine does, too. But as soon as we recognize that drifting has returned, it is time for replacement, refurbishment, or recalibration. Repentance is NOT a dirty word… it is a core part of the curriculum. We will be performing this action ALL the time… anytime our flesh starts to take control and pulls us back towards destruction (Galatians 5:17). Joy-Con drift is REAL, even if it was the dirty secret that nobody wanted to talk about until everyone else started admitting they have the same problem. Our sinful nature will be a foe that we will wrestle with every day until we leave this plane of existence (1 Corinthians 9:27). But we have a Creator who will quickly restore us to factory default settings EVERY time we reach out to Him in repentance and ask Him, one more time, to renew our minds.
Like us? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube for our articles and videos!
Facebook: Finding God in the World of Video Games
Instagram: Finding God in Video Games
YouTube: Finding God in the World of Video Games
Video versions of our articles are available here: