“So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” (Ephesians 4:14)
No one likes them, wants them or enjoys them, but they are a part of life and we all have to deal with them at some time or another. We can’t miss the signs that foretell its arrival … a runny nose, scratchy throat and the seeming unstoppable sneezing.
Mystery still shrouds the common cold and why some folks seem to get them so often while others seem to rarely get them. We try to stay educated, employ the practices of good health and generally do what we can to ward the cold off for ourselves and those we love.
No, this is not really a diatribe about health and hygiene. I am not a doctor, nurse or any way connected to the medical community except by my frequent trips to a team of doctors.
The parallel to the common cold and our spiritual lives is extremely close. Colds and viruses are spread from one to another by various means. In the same way, we gain our perspectives about life, the world, and even our faith from others.
Often people get their religious views and beliefs like they catch a cold … by simply being around other people! The apostle Paul by inspiration warned the brethren of long ago in Ephesus to be more careful about what they believed and that same warning has been preserved by the Lord down through the ages for us to apply in our own lives.
Bad ideas mislabeled as truth find fertile ground in the hearts of so many in our world including our children, family and even our brethren. We must help to inoculate those we love with a desire for God and His will (Matthew 6:33). We must show in our own lives the value of “walking in the light” of his revealed will (1 John 1:7).
It is imperative that we realize that ideas, thoughts and even words have consequences! Consequences we have no ability to determine or rule out, for you see, God’s will is the standard by which the entirety of our lives will be measured.
- S. Lewis wrote in his book entitled Mere Christianity,
“We are now getting to the point at which different beliefs about the universe lead to different behavior. Religion involves a series of statements about facts, which must be either true or false. If they are true, one set of conclusions will follow about the right sailing of the human fleet, if they are false, quite another set.”
Unlike the common cold, there is a proven remedy … a proven cure …for the spiritual colds and viruses this world generates. That remedy is prescribed by the Great Physician, Jesus Christ and it is the truth of His divine word!
- We must be honest with our own faith and heart and speak truth to others including our family, friends and brethren in love and with no apology!
- We must be willing to teach others how to recognize and distinguish between truth and error, right and wrong and of the sources of misinformation that deceive!
- We must show others how to expose and answer these false concepts mislabeled as truth even as Jesus Himself warned of false teachers that would come among the sheep of His fold dressed in sheep’s clothing when in reality they were ravenous wolves!
- We simply must help others, especially our young who are inexperienced and vulnerable, on how to avoid the ‘colds and viruses’ of worldly thoughts and values!
The common cold only lasts for a short time, while the spiritual cold left untreated can lead to an eternity apart from God!
May the Lord give each of us the willingness to stand up and be counted people who belong to Him, who recognize the value of being sheep in His pasture, and who appreciate the fact that living as He expects can by His grace and mercy lead to an eternal home in Heaven where sin will simply be no more!
Bill Fairchild, Jr.