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Faith: Infection isn't only physical

One of the joys of being a dad is getting to play doctor. Having four daughters, there is no shortage of one of them getting hurt. Being active girls, their most common injuries are cuts and scrapes.

Daily I hear that familiar crying of an injured daughter. Time to go into examination mode. "What happened? Where does it hurt? Why were you and your sisters doing that?"

Once we get the tears and blood to stop flowing, I pull out the trusty old first aid kit. Time to repair the damage.

Being inquisitive girls, they will ask questions during the first aid process. I love these teachable moments. "Why are you using that Band-Aid? What medicine are you using? Will it hurt?"

The question that always draws the most attention is the question about the medicine. I explain, "This is to help you heal faster and fight infection."

"What's an infection?" they ask with the cutest puzzled look on their faces. An infection is caused by a microorganism and inhibited the healing process. Still puzzled, I simplify. An infection is the things we don't want in our body. They make us sick, sometimes deathly sick, and we want your cut to be protected.

The amazing thing is we can see the wound and the effects of a developing infection in our physical body. But when it comes to our spiritual body we can be oblivious to the spiritual wound and infection of sin. That is the reason God has given us instructions to care for our soul as well.

"For everything that belongs to the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one's lifestyle - is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God's will remains forever." (1 John 2:16-17)

The Apostle John in the book of 1 John gives parallel examples of what is from God and what is from the world. He articulates the difference between true spiritual growth and living a sinful life displeasing to God. In these verses, we see three types of infections that affect the life of a believer in Christ.

The first infection is our flesh, our sinful nature and desires. We celebrated Easter in which Jesus conquered death and provided forgiveness for sins. When we confess our sins to God, He is faithful and just to forgive us. Because of Christ's work on the cross, God permanently removes the infectious effects and eternal consequence of sin. Our desires become sinful when we choose to glorify and please ourselves rather than God.

The second infection is our eyes. It is amazing how quickly our eyes can take us to places we never thought we'd go. Envy becomes the daily driving force and consumes all our time.

The third is pride in one's lifestyle. I love living in northern Minnesota, but does my lifestyle drive everything I do? This is hard because we can become so infected with pride for how we live that the gangrene stench of arrogance permeates every aspect of our life.

When we become aware of the possible infections in our spiritual life we can begin proper care. I encourage you today to examine your life for spiritual infections. The first aid is forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Confessing your sins will begin the process of healing the spiritual wounds.

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