I came across an interesting disease this week at work. I helped take care of a patient who had tuberculosis. Thankfully, we don't see a whole lot of that anymore these days. But I got to thinking how similar our sin is to this disease, or maybe better, the way that satan attacks us with temptation. Hopefully this makes sense to you, it just sort of struck me.
Tuberculosis can lie dormant for a whole life, you can actually have been exposed, but never have an active infection. But this is not the usual course. After exposure, your body encapsulates the bacteria that you've breathed into your lungs and therefore protects you from a full fledged attack. But later in life, even years down the road, when your body is weak, or somehow compromised, the defenses can be broke down, and an active and serious infection can occur, requiring months and months of intense, grueling treatment, with life long consequences.
It just struck me how similar the devil works. We have all been born with a sin nature, even those of us that are now in Christ still struggle with this nature. We are also exposed in this fallen world to sin on a daily basis and the temptation is great and serious. We have been exposed to the disease. But as we are in Christ and are seeking His will, obeying His commands, and following Him, maintaining fellowship with the body, we are alert, and our defenses are up. The bacteria of temptation and sin is now encapsulated, we are momentarily protected from temptation. But satan knows when we are weak, in fact he waits on these times to prey upon us. We may be becoming lax in our relationship with Christ and His church, rendering our spiritual health weak and compromised. Our defenses also weaken and the temptation/disease can become active, infecting us in one way or another. However as we are in Christ, this is not the end, there is hope! But rest assured that it is not an easy path that we are on. The treatment for TB (tuberculosis) is long-term running 6 months to a year depending on the severity, multiple medications are given, often they are not taken because of the severity of some of the side effects, but it is the only way to be cured. This can be true in our walk after we've fallen into temptation. We want to get better, be healed, and we are forgiven, but the road back is often hard, and it is so much easier to not take it, to stay lax and lazy, to pretend that it's not a big deal. But there in the background is still this disease, that eats away at our joy, robs God of His glory in our lives, and renders us unfruitful.
When we have a patient with TB, they are in isolation, and we take the highest precautions when caring for them, these precautions are called Airborne Precautions. They are in a room where air cannot flow out into the rest of the hospital, the doors stay shut and there is a room between them and the hall to maintain a negative airflow. When we enter we are gowned, gloved and wearing special masks to protect ourselves. We take this disease seriously, because it is deadly, because it spreads quickly, because it's treatment is so harsh. And we should.... but let me ask you this as well as I ask myself, do I think of sin and the temptation that I face in this same way? Do I treat it as seriously as I treat a dreaded disease? Do I make sure that I am protected and have my guard up when I am up against it? Or do I let my guard down, not caring if I am exposed or that I might even expose others through my inattention to safety?
I think it's safe to say that we all fear disease, especially those that are life threatening and serious, but do you and do I, fear sin the same way?