I’ve got a cold or some kind of flu.
I’m sniffling all day long. And when I’m not sniffling, I’m blowing my nose. And when I’m not blowing my nose, I’m sitting down, because I feel completely, drained of energy.
It doesn’t matter what medicine I take, what I eat or what I drink, this sickness has latched onto me. Bound to my being is more like it actually.
It won’t go away. So I’m stuck with a sickness.
Things would be easier if I knew where I got it. If my boss was sick a week ago, and now was better, I could ask him what he took to rid himself of this illness. Alas, my boss is a picture of health.
The same goes for my fellow employees. No one at church is sniffling but me. No youth kids, none of my friends are sick. My wife is perfectly healthy, as is our unborn baby girl.
But that leaves me still a walking advertisement for Buckley’s. I’m still sick and I have no idea how it happened and have less clues as to how to deal with it.
It isn’t a coincident that the Bible alludes to and even calls sin an illness, a sickness of the soul. The similarities are striking.
As a cold will seemingly comes out of nowhere, so does sin. It doesn’t announce that it is coming. It doesn’t tell anyone what it’s plans are. Sickness and sin simply slip into our being quietly, stealthily infiltrating our bodies and souls.
It may start out as nothing. My flu did. It stated as a scratch in my throat. I didn’t think much of it. Chances were it was one of the Combos I had just eaten, not chewed enough, just moving down my throat. If only that was the case.
My eyes became sore, muscles become weak. Fatigue set in, even after 8 to 10 hours of sleep. I had gone from a little sick to full blown, body crippling, death inducing illness.
Okay, maybe I’m not death inducing-ly ill. But anyone that has been sick understands my over exaggeration. Once sickness has its cold hand wrapped around you, there is very little you can do.
The same is true for sin.
A man doesn’t wake up one morning, look over at his sleeping wife and decide, “Today is the day that I have an affair with my co-worker.”
Sin isn’t so forceful. Rather it is subtle. It starts out innocently enough, simply enough.
It may start with a man and his female co-worker sharing a laugh at the water cooler.
That could lead into a funny internet meme or two being passed back and forth between the two of them.
But the problem with that, it doesn’t stay casual, it snowballs. It becomes more.
It may turn into sharing lunches together, enjoying a laugh. And that may turn into lunches alone together, away from the other coworkers. Which may lead to lunches outside of the workplace. And that turns into suppers after work.
Slowly and surely, what started out so innocently turns into a desire to share every moment together, thus leading to an affair.
What is sad is that many people do not realize that this is how sin works most effectively.
Sin plays the long con, the slow burn. Sin takes its time, slowly spinning you into its web until it is too late and you are too far gone.
It may not be an affair. It could be pornography, stealing, lying to your neighbour, anyone of a million things.
But they all start the same way. And just like a cold or the flu, slowing and surely, sin will wrap its cold hard around you. Then there will be very little you can do.
While the Scriptures do not use the sickness metaphor in this instance, the warning, the actions we need to be continually taking applies very well.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Resist him, standing firm in the faith…(1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV).”
I like what the Complete Jewish Bible says. “STAY ALTER!” They added the exclamation mark, not me. “Stay alter!” Or the New King James Version, “Be vigilant.”
The enemy is slow and stealthy, so beware.
Look at your life, the things you do at home and at work.
Is there even the potential that what you are doing may lead to sin?
Is the time on the Internet alone the doorway that may lead you to a porn addiction?
Is spending time alone with the cute receptionist going to lead to an affair?
Is counting the cash box in that quiet, dark back room giving you the opportunity to pocket a few bucks?
The answer may be a no for you, but it could also be a yes.
As Christians, we all need to step back and examine what’s going on in our lives. We need to take notice of all the little things. Like a scratchy throat, before it becomes full grown into a debilitating sickness. Or a seemingly innocent act becomes a fully grown sin.