A man who was a smoker was visiting his mother one day. A couple of hours into the visit, she noticed he hadn’t once lit up a cigarette. “Are you trying to kick the habit?” she asked. “No,” he replied. “I have a cold, and I don’t smoke when I’m not feeling well.” “You know,” she observed, “you’d probably live longer if you were sick more often.”
As ironic as it sounds, there are some health benefits that come from knowing that you’re sick. You may temporarily quit an unhealthy habit. You may make a long overdue visit to the doctor. You may get more rest, drink more healthy liquids, and eat better foods. You may get someone to help you with daily tasks that you’ve become too weak to do for yourself.
The same is true in the spiritual realm. A lot of people are sin sick but don’t realize it. Sin has separated them from God, alienated them from loved ones, caused misery in their lives and doomed their souls. But, they haven’t made the connection in their minds between their symptoms and their disease; they may even think that they are not really sick and that life is supposed to be this way. Only those who recognize their condition will do something about.
If you know that you are spiritually sick, here are some “good things” to try:
See the doctor. Jesus has the cure for your sin sick life. In Mark 2:17 Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Notice two things here. First, only people who know they are sin sick will go to the physician. Second, the doctor’s prescription is repentance! Change your heart and your mind!
Stop the unhealthy habits that are making you sick. In the church at Corinth, many were spiritually sick because they were sinning by not taking the Lord’s Supper in a worthy manner. Paul explains that “he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep” (1 Corinthians 11:29-30). The Corinthians needed to evaluate their unhealthy practice and correct it! “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Corinthians 11:28). The same is true with every pathogenic sin we commit. If we want to get better, we must stop committing the sin and do what is right.
Eat and drink a healthier diet — more of God’s word and work. Jesus said that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mark 4:4). God’s word is able to build us up (Acts 20:32). It is the healthiest thing our souls can ingest. Like honey, it is both sweet and good for us! The psalmist declares, “How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103). Jesus also said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34). God’s word and His work will revitalize us and keep us going!
Rely more on Christ. A person who is sick may be too weak to do much for himself. He must rely on others to lend a hand. Our infirmities and weakness should cause us to rely more on Christ. We may be too weak to accomplish much, but He can do all things. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul records for us how his own infirmity helped him to trust more fully in the power of Christ. The Lord told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” This caused Paul to say, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (12:9-10).
No one enjoys being sick, but being sick and knowing it may actually help you become healthy. So, how about it? Do you think you may be coming down with something?