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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Denial: The Great Cover Up

Denial is something I seem to do so well. Let me explain. This past week I was sick again. You see, I've had asthma since my childhood. I always told myself that I had outgrown it and no longer needed to take medication. For the most part, that was true. God had healed me enough that the symptoms were not severe and full blown attacks seldom happened. Only when I got an infection did the asthma get too much for me to handle. Feeling poorly and with a little prompting from my daughter, I went to the doctor for the second time in a month.

The doctor listened to my breathing and immediately gave me a breathing treatment. Her next words to me took me back just a bit. She said "You're strong, but not that strong and there is no river in Egypt called De Nile". Oh, was she right. She went on to explain that all I had been doing was treating the symptoms and not the disease. I had been in total denial!

God then spoke to my heart and told me that sin was very much like that. I could deny it all I wanted, treat the symptoms, and never get to the root of the problem. I needed to confess, admit the sin to myself and to God.

People who cover over their sins will not prosper. But if they confess and forsake them, they will receive mercy. (Proverbs 28:13 NLT)

Then I also needed to repent and seek God's forgiveness. The idea is to turn from sin and not to do it again.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us." 1 John 1:9-10 KJV

Without admitting a problem, you cannot get help. I realized that treating the condition meant work. It means avoiding things that are harmful for me. It is the same with sin. Once the sin is identified, we have to avoid being around it. For me, with asthma it means avoiding dust, pollen, smoke, and chocolate. Yes, chocolate!

Now it is easy for me to avoid the things that really make me sick. I never choose a smoke-filled restaurant as I can't breathe in that situation; but I am tempted to eat the chocolate. It is easy for us as Christians to avoid the big sins, such as stealing or murder, but those little ones such as a bad attitude, jealousy, and unkindness are easy to commit. We see it all around us and it is hard to avoid.

With my asthma, sometimes I need the help of medication because there is no way to stay out of the dust or the pollen completely. We, too, need the help of the Holy Spirit convicting us and keeping us free from sin.

So, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its' evil deeds, you will live. Romans 8:12-13, NLT

I am no longer denying that I have asthma. I am taking the medication to help restore my breathing and I am keeping away from the things that cause my asthma to flare up. I'm allowing the Holy Spirit to work in my life and I'm doing my best to avoid temptations. May we all live our lives sin free and controlled by the Holy Spirit!

Copyright Kathy Schultz. Used by permission.

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