We, as a family, have been battling viruses and infections for the last few weeks. It began when we discovered, after a routine scan and tune-up, that our family computer had over 900 viruses. Then both my wife and my middle son each contracted different bacterial infections. Thankfully, local Staples© technicians were able to clear up the viruses on the laptop and prescribed ten-day doses of antibiotics were able to clear up the infections. We are, to the best of my knowledge, healthy – both technologically and physically.
It is a funny thing…we didn’t know that we were as ‘sick’ as we were. Sure, the computer was running slower and a few programs were acting strangely, but our laptop was able to perform all the tasks we demanded of it. My middle son, David, was feeling sick enough to miss school for a day, but was not, for the most part, unable to accomplish whatever he desired. My wonderful wife was sore from a recent medical procedure and experiencing redness at the procedure sites, but otherwise was living life as normal. I am just glad that we had the wherewithal to recognize the symptoms of ‘illness’ – slowness, soreness, redness – and receive treatment for our maladies in a timely fashion.
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned….” Romans 5:12 (NIV)
In an extremely over-simplified way, sin is like a spiritual infection or virus. According to James’ letter to the church, its destruction begins when we are tempted by our evil desires and allow sin to corrupt our comparatively healthy environment. This sin, of not addressed, eventually causes death (see James 1:14-15). The problem, according the Paul’s words to the church in Rome, is that we have all been infected.
Like the conditions in my home recently, our ‘illnesses’ did not immediately impact our healthy appearance: the laptop was fully operational and neither my wife nor son were requiring an immediate hospital stay. Appearances can be deceiving, especially when it comes to spiritual sickness. Our relationships do not immediately disintegrate when we bear false witness, our employment is not immediately terminated when we steal time or resources from our bosses and we are not immediately struck dead when we visit those websites…but the disease begins to wreak havoc. Like a computer virus, where a few bits of code initiates a process of destruction, or a biological germ, where a few single celled organisms infect and eliminate the healthy tissue they enter, sin begins small and apparently innocuous but spreads.
The only hope one who has been infected has of remedy is to eliminate the unwelcome intruder. Computers need to be restored and infections need to be starved. Sin, too, needs to be eradicated. There is only one verifiable cure for sin – the blood of Jesus. There is no anti-virus software for spiritual sickness and no chicken soup for the soul. Don’t accept the conventional wisdom that all relationships break down, that everybody takes stuff or that there’s nothing wrong with just looking. Sin will destroy you if you allow it to overtake your life. Instead, I urge you to trust in Jesus’ sacrifice for you.
“For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” Romans 5:15 (NIV)
Stay healthy, my friends.