Sicknesses are sweeping through the north Texas population right now. Flu, colds, sinus infections, bronchitis, and respiratory allergies are running rampant. I have had a bad cold that started the day after Christmas. It got better after a week but then it turned into a sinus infection that I am still fighting to overcome. It hasn’t gotten bad enough for me to go to the doctor yet, but that may have to happen eventually.
There are some interesting correlations between fighting a sickness like those mentioned above and fighting temptations that could make us sick spiritually. How do you usually contract a sickness? It is by being around someone else who is sick and then that person passes it along to you either by physical contact or by airborne transmission. How are you usually exposed to temptation? It is by being around someone else (or a number of other people) who is involved in ungodly behavior and you are encouraged to become involved, too. Jesus addressed this in Luke 17:1, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come!” Temptation can be awfully hard to resist, especially when the behavior is something that you would like to do and the one who is encouraging you to do it is a friend. That is the very nature of temptation: you want to do something that you know you shouldn’t. If you are consistently around those who practice sin, then it is likely that you will become “infected.”
Another correlation is that you have to fight to overcome temptation just like you have to fight to overcome a sickness. God taught Cain in Genesis 4:7, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” How can we rule over it? God gives us this guidance in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation will also provide a way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” In both of these passages it is clear that the individual who is seeking to please God has the responsibility to fight the temptation rather than give into it. But even when we fall short and give into temptation there is always help and hope, which brings me to the next thought.
The final correlation is to go to the doctor when you need to. Jesus gives this teaching in Matthew 9:12, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” Jesus is the physician for spiritual sickness. Go to Him when you need to. Don’t wait. He will help you fight and overcome temptation!