Don’t Let These 4 Dangerous Spiritual Viruses Infect You

Don’t Let These 4 Dangerous Spiritual Viruses Infect You

One man yelling at anotherSandra and Tom plan to never enter a church again. They feel bruised and beaten emotionally and spiritually at the hands of a group of Christians. They feel their only hope of survival is to separate from the Christian church as they see it.

I hope God breaks through to Sandra and Tom at some point. I hope they come to realize that true followers of Jesus don’t beat people up! The Christian life may be challenging. God calls us to a higher plane of life than we ever dreamed possible. But spiritual abuse is not from God.

Unhealthy spirituality can be toxic – to your mental well-being, to your physical health, and to your relationship with God.

But how do you know if you’re experiencing one of these dangerous distortions of true Christianity? Don’t let one of these dangerous spiritual viruses infect your life:

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Why Miracles Don’t Happen In a Day

Hour GlassOK, it MAY happen in a day. God can do amazing things. He just might step in and part the Red Sea for you. I’ve seen God do it. And it can be exhilarating! Hallelujah!

But what if it doesn’t? What if you wait – and wait, and wait? Are you not asking in faith? Are you doing something wrong? Is God not really up to the task? Does He not care as much as you thought He did?  Are you not using the right prayer formula?

It may well have taken a long time to get where you are now.  And it may well take time to make things different. Just because nothing seems to change overnight does not mean you’re doing something wrong. Or that God is not involved every moment.

Think of the possibilities:

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Why Patients Care About My Faith

Praying HandsIn just the past couple weeks I have been almost surprised by how many patients of mine have asked to talk about matters of faith. As a doctor I am privileged to touch people’s lives at very vulnerable times, and it’s at those times where faith makes a significant difference.

Here are a few vignettes:

  • A woman facing challenging hormonal problems says, “I looked at your online profile, and I’m glad you’re a minister also. I want to be able to talk about those things too.”
  • A couple facing long-term infertility wrestling with whether God would look kindly on their use of fertility treatment, or whether they should accept childlessness as God’s will for them.
  • A patient needing an urgent C-section says, “We prayed that the doctor who would deliver our baby would be a believer too. You are an answer to prayer.”
  • A woman who is newly pregnant, feeling guilty about her previous abortion and wondering whether God would punish her by not allowing this pregnancy to continue.

What is it these patients are looking for from me? Why do they bring up spiritual matters? What do they need?

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When It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Sad Couple Holding HandsLosing a loved one in death is one of life’s most difficult experiences. It’s something each one of us either already has or someday will go through. Knowing it will happen does not make it any less painful.

Certain deaths make the news, such as those who died in the Boston bomb blasts or the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion just recently. Or country singer George Jones who died last Friday in a hospital in Nashville, TN.

But most deaths never make network news. It’s your mother or father, your husband or wife, your brother or sister, your child, your best friend who leaves this life. And you are left with the very personal loss of someone you cared about, someone who can never be replaced.

The journey of grief is just that – a journey.

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The Easter Story for Today

Three CrossesWe call today Good Friday. But remember – the very first Good Friday was anything but good!

The Biblical story goes like this: Just a few days prior, Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem and been hailed as a King. Children were singing His praises. Blind and lame people were made well. The religious rulers who had been exploiting the people had been exposed and routed. Yesterday, those who were with Jesus thought this might be the time Jesus would usher in God’s Kingdom, and their problems would soon come to an end. Hope was at a fever pitch!

And then today they watched Him die.

We know the end of the story. We know what happened Sunday morning. But imagine for a moment what it was like for those who loved Jesus on that Friday. They had finally dared to hope, and now that hope was gone.

Can you imagine any higher hopes than those of Jesus’ friends a week earlier?

And can you imagine any deeper devastation than how they felt when He died?

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