What are you spreading?

Published 1:25 pm Friday, October 9, 2009

I am grateful that I seldom get sick, but last week was one of those rare times when something invaded my body and did not want to leave.

It was an absolutely unpleasant experience.

After trying several over-the-counter items, gargling with aspirin water and packing vapor rub up my nose (all to no avail), I lowered my pride and went to the doctor.

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Of the several years that I have gone to Dr. Brand, this is the first time I can recall going in because I was sick. His assessment of my problem indicated that it did not seem to be anything serious and was probably more of an inconvenience than a threat to my future well-being. Thankfully his prescribed treatment approach seems to be working—albeit, not as fast as I would like!

One of my main goals during this little bump in the road of life has been, in addition to getting well, trying to avoid infecting anyone else. I have attempted to keep a safe distance from people who might be in serious trouble if they caught the same bug I had, and I have tried to be more cautious to keep my hands clean. (I even postponed kissing my wife until I am more confident that I will not make her sick—what a sacrifice!)

While I was feverish and stuffy, I knew it was possible to spread the germ to others, but even before all those symptoms came into full bloom, it is possible that I could have “shared” the bug with others without knowing it.

It can be really easy to spread some things. That is true of infections and it is true of our influence on people as well.

Thankfully, when it comes to influencing the lives of others, we have some choice as to what we spread.

We can choose not to spread gossip by refusing to repeat character damaging hear-say about others.

Proverbs 10:18 says that “whoever spreads slander is a fool” (NIV).

Rather than saying hateful and hurtful things, it is far more advantageous for us to spread words that build others up.

Proverbs 10:21 assures us that “The lips of the righteous nourish many.”

As we allow the Holy Spirit to enable us to demonstrate to others the presence of Christ within our hearts, we can be used to spread to them the love, peace and joy of the Lord.

Now that we are in the midst of the flu season, we are often reminded of measures that we can take to lessen the chances of spreading germs. We will be doing all those that we come into contact with a great favor if we will apply this advice. It is also a good time to remember that we can spread a great deal of influence to others, either good or bad.

What are you spreading?

With God’s help, choose not to spread words and actions that hurt others, instead, spread that which strengthens, encourages and sustains them.