This winter has been one of the worst seasons for the flu virus in years. With these wicked strains it seems as though everyone is at risk. Keeping one’s immune system strong is a good offensive strategy. As Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Health professionals recommend simple precautions such as covering one’s mouth when sneezing or coughing, hand washing and staying away from others when you are infected and avoiding close contact with those already infected.
But sometimes we just get sick. We can take things to help ease the symptoms for a virus such as the flu but medicines are ineffective to cure the illness. Medicine may help to manage symptoms. Vaccines may or may not boost the body’s immunity. Eating right and taking regular exercise are excellent preventative measures that keep the body strong and healthy. Our best bet is to stay as healthy as we can and to do our best to prevent spreading disease to other human beings when infected. It seems like common sense to sneeze into a tissue or cover one’s mouth when coughing or washing hands after using the lavatory, before eating and to stay home when sick. But a surprising number of people don’t follow these simple practices. Not only do they risk sickness and possibly death, they put others at risk in the process through the choices they make.
It has been the one of worst seasons for sin in years. With these wicked verbal and personal attacks, it seems as though everyone is at risk. Keeping one’s soul healthy is a good offensive strategy. Jesus Christ said, “Love the Lord your God with all your strength, all your heart, all your mind and all your soul; and love your neighbor as yourself.” As the spiritual care professional, he recommends simple precautions such as not saying anything at all if you can’t say something nice and showing kindness to and praying for those we consider “our enemies”. Kindness and courtesy seem like common sense. Sometimes it means avoiding contact with others when we have a bad case of the nasties. And sometimes it may mean avoiding contact with those infected with the spiritual sicknesses of meanness and negativity.
But sometimes we just get sin sick. And we just hate the word sin. The sound of it is like fingernails on a chalkboard to both Christians and skeptics alike. We can do good deeds to help ease the symptoms of separating ourselves from God. But good works are ineffective to cure the illness, because how good is good enough? And which set of human standards do we use as a measuring stick? And let’s face facts, when I think my good deeds redeem my bad ones, I end up with a bad case of the Holier than Thous.
Perhaps I should ask myself these two questions on a daily basis: 1) What and who is infecting me? Germs like anger, resentment, bitterness, hatred, lying, cheating, stealing, unkindness, rudeness, self- righteousness, greediness, lust, strife, and the like kill and destroy relationships, dignity and human hearts. Do I need to detach in love from those infected?
2) With what and who am I infecting? Am I spreading pain and sorrow or am I bringing truth, joy and life to those with whom I come in contact? Does what I say, what I do and how I interact with others build people up or tear them down? And sad to say, we usually hurt worst, the ones we love the most. And social media takes meanness to a whole new level because you don’t have to look into the eyes of another human being, a person created in the image of God.
Entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and reading the Bible are excellent preventative measures that build up immunity in a human soul. The best defense for wanting to rip someone’s face off, gossip about or verbally trash a fellow human being is choosing new life in Christ. This new life changes us from the inside out which is the best offense and the best offense is a good defense! It seems like common sense to treat others how I would wish to be treated. But a surprising the number of folks don’t or won’t take the medicine. Which causes pain and misery not only for themselves but puts others at risk in the process. And no one is immune. No one.
Like the flu virus, there is no cure for the dis-ease of sin through human effort. It is a bad disease that all people, even good people get. We can manage symptoms. But we, in and of ourselves can never, ever make things right between God and us.
There is a cure. The cure is found in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The only perfect, sinless one, sacrificed to cure the gap between my wicked human heart (and yours too) and God. He is the only cure for soul sickness and sin. He is the way, the truth and the life.
The choice is ours to make. It is available to all and I would encourage you to give Jesus a try. Surrender your life to him for at least six weeks and couple surrender with reading the Gospel of John through several times and ask him to show himself to you. You won’t regret it. And if you decide life in him is not for you, he will gladly refund your misery.
My prayer for you, dear readers, is that you are or will become infected with Jesus Christ and spread his love, light and life to every living soul you come in contact with.
Be joy filled always,