A Disease of the Soul
I watch the news. I read the reports. I feel the tension at Walmart when all the Lysol products are out of stock. Everyone is talking about the coronavirus and how to avoid contracting the illness. Suddenly, everyone is doing what we’ve been taught all along—pay attention, wash your hands, and avoid exposure.
I’m not one to jump on the panic bus or dwell on “what-if” scenarios, but something about this situation has my attention. However, this post is not about COVID-19. An epidemic is sweeping our world that’s more dangerous than the flu-like virus threatening the lives of the elderly and immune-compromised population. Its effects are more far reaching and much deadlier. In fact, the infection rate is 100 percent, but we don’t like to talk about it.
But I’m just going to call it what it is. Sin.
I am infected. You are infected. No one is immune. You need only to look around (and perhaps in the mirror) to see the symptomatic signs—an innate desire for self-rule, arrogant pride, and a subtle contempt for God’s Word. Our human nature cannot fight this sickness because there is no natural cure. All of us are sinful. We lie, cheat, and let our priorities get out of line. We gossip, yell at our kids, and mismanage our finances. Too little value is placed on the eternal, and too much attention is given to the here and now. Sin is destroying us. Literally.
The media coverage and government response to the coronavirus is so extensive that I began to ask myself difficult questions. What would happen if I were as intentional about protecting myself from temptation and sin’s snare? What if I took precautions to stay away from things that could entice me toward disobedience to God? How would my family look different if I did what I’ve been taught from the beginning—pay attention and flee from sin? If I treated the sin in my life with the same extreme measures as the world is treating this virus, I would suffer less from this disease of the soul.
Scripture instructs us to throw off everything that hinders us and entangles us in sin. What does that look like? Do you need to end a relationship, stop a behavior, or abandon toxic thoughts? Do you need to develop a closer walk with Jesus, find accountability, or make lifestyle changes? Throwing off what hinders us is hard work, but it offers you abundant life. Are we a people willing to take drastic measures for the sake of our relationship with God? Or do we reserve that kind of intensity only for temporal threats? There is much at stake, so we must remain vigilant—being intentional and alert.
Christian friends, the price of sin in our lives is that our relationship with God suffers—there’s a loss of intimacy and peace. Non-believers, the price for sin is death. There is no preventative vaccine. There is only one cure. His name is Jesus, and His sacrifice on the cross is the atonement for our sin. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, [Jesus] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Only He can forgive our transgressions and make us whole. Only He can free us from the grip of temptation.
This week when you wash your hands to protect yourself from a viral threat, take a moment to be mindful of the One who gave His body to redeem yours for eternity.
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