I am allergic to shrimp, so I attempt to avoid them. However, it's not as easy as one might think. Nice restaurants camouflage them in soups, sauces, egg rolls, and other delicious recipes. Recently, I discovered, just before putting the scrumptious little tidbit into my mouth, that it was a shrimp. It had been covered with a delicious coating of southern grits, a favourite of mine.
This incident brought to mind how easily our spiritual allergies can slip up on us, covered in delicious bites of things which are tempting, but destructive to a Christian's way of living.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 – Abstain from every form of evil. (NRSV)
If we are to maintain our spiritual health, there are certain things that Christians need to avoid. These include gossip, judging others, evil thoughts, sexual immorality; the list goes on.
2 Timothy 2:23-25 – Have nothing to do with stupid controversies, you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth. (NRSV)
Both Timothy and Titus tell us to avoid foolish disputes and arguments, unless one is defending the faith. Otherwise, arguments produce more harm than good and are of no value.
Are we as aware of our spiritual allergies as we are of the ones that plague the physical body? Probably not. I know that if I eat shrimp, I will be very sick and miserable. Spiritual allergies creep up on us and often have no unpleasant side effects until it is too late. These temptations, like the shrimp covered with a delicious sauce, look good to us. We can become victims before we realize what is happening.
Prayer: Father, You know our weaknesses and the type of spiritual allergies dwelling in our lives. Help us to self-diagnose our shortcomings, and lead us into healthy living in the spiritual realm. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.