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 us 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 do our best to prevent spreading disease to other human beings when we become 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 and before eating or staying home when we are 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 by the choices they do and don’t make.
It has been the one of worst seasons for sin in years. With these wicked verbal and physical 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, heart, mind and soul; and love your neighbor as yourself.” As a spiritual care professional, he recommends simple precautions such as not saying anything at all if you can’t say something nice or 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 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 don’t we just hate the word sin. Just 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.
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?
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 verbally or physically rip off someone’s face, gossip about or just plain trash fellow human beings is a new life in Christ. This new life changes us from the inside out which is the best offense for chronic sin! 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 nobody is immune. Nobody.
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 belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The only perfect, sinless one was sacrificed to cure the gap between my wicked human heart (and yours too) and God and is the only cure for the soul sickness of sin.
The choice is ours to make. It is available to all. My prayer for you, dear readers, that you are or will become infected with Christ and spread His love, light and life to every living soul you meet. ©
Be joy filled always,