Two members of our family are battling MRSA infections. MRSA stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. It's a strain of staph that's resistant to the broad-spectrum antibiotics commonly used to treat it. It can be a serious, even fatal, condition for those with compromised immune systems. In our family it is simply a nuisance that means doctor appointments, sulfa drugs and lots and lots of hand washing.
It occurs to me that in our faith life we often suffer from a different kind of MRSA; perhaps a Multiple Resistant Sin Annoyance. We have those sins such as pride, lack of trust, need for control, that we know we shouldn’t indulge in but yet we are at a loss on how to stop. Each of us has sins that resist our efforts to overcome. They are a nuisance for us and annoyance for our family and friends but if they compromise our faith systems, they can be fatal. No amount of hand washing will prevent the spread of this kind of sin infection.
Conquering a faith MRSA requires a specific regimen:
We must be vigilant in keeping our immune system strong. Instead of exercise, flu shots, and vitamins we need a balanced diet of scripture. We must read and study His word daily.
There are no sulfa drugs to battle this type of infection but we have something stronger. We have confession and absolution that exposes this sin infection to the light of God’s word. Through the forgiveness offered by our Savior and the process of sanctification found in the Spirit we can clean that infection and be rid of it.
Hand washing is highly effective in preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses. The more we wash the better. The same is true of attending worship. Not only do we hear God’s word and receive forgiveness of sins, but we also experience the support of fellowship. We cannot quarantine ourselves during a faith MRSA. We must not keep it hidden; instead we bring our sin out in the open and let God heal it. If we hide it away and refuse to acknowledge and treat our faith MRSA we will find ourselves covered in the faith equivalent of leprosy.
So now, wash your hands and stay safe from a skin infection, but, wash your heart to stay safe from a sin infection. God is your healer.
Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow.
Isaiah 1: 18