Are you infectious? Hopefully not with one of the latest viruses or flu bugs! This is an installment from the “Strength for Today” emails (Feb. 2002) I sent out until I began blogging. Hope it helps to keep you healthy!
This is what is known in most parts as “cold and flu season”–that coughing, sneezing, sniffling, wheezing time of year when we all share germs, viruses, flu bugs etc. with one another.
Some of these maladies are transmitted by direct contact. My little boy gave me one of his trademark bit, fat, slurpy smooches before bedtime a week or so ago, and voila’–I had a cold. The Bible tells us in Romans 12:10 to be “kindly affectioned one toward another”. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could fulfill this directive as easily as we share our kindly infections? I believe this is possible, if we set our minds to it. By “direct contact” we can give a hug, which can truly change someone’s day.
Continuing with this infectious train of thought, some germs are caught just by being in someone’s presence; or at least, by the lingering effect (infect?)of their presence. Here is a typical scenario from my archives: I carefully guard my kids from the latest nasty flu that is going around. Then, I make one teensy trip to the grocery store. There, lurking on the handle of the shopping cart are lots of tiny greeblies eagerly waiting for me to literally lay a hand on them. The next three weeks is history. [I make good use of those free alcohol wipes now!]
I became a helper to that flu bug when I neglected to wash my hands (as I routinely do) upon returning from the grocery store. I “helped” to spread it to my kids, perhaps when I hurriedly prepared their lunch without remembering that ritual trip to the sink.
I find myself thinking, “When was the last time I left a lingering positive spiritual effect that influenced others for good?” Paul talks about individuals being “helpers of joy” in II Cor. 1:24. How can we be helpers of the joy of others by our presence or the lingering effects of being with other believers? Here are some ideas:
Infectious praise: Ps. 34:3
Infectious laughter: Prov. 17:22
Infectious concern: Gal. 6:2
Infectious speech: Eph. 4:29
Infectious love Jn. 13:35
Infectious kindness Eph. 4:32
Infectious exhortation Heb. 10:24
Infectious hospitality I Pet. 4:9
My plan of attack for being more of a “Contagious Christian” is this: (1)Wash my heart routinely, so I am usable to spread kindly affection. Then, (2) Be sure I have washed my hands to keep from spreading nasty infection! Wouldn’t it be a blessing if we could all have a germ-free but affection-laden week, month, or even year??? Think of the money saved on doctor bills and medications! Better still, think of the heavenly and lasting reward that will be ours as we are a blessing to our spouse, children, friends and others! May this vision from the Word infect us all!