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Some Disease is a Consequence of Sin

Have you ever heard or been the target of comments from non-believers related to the “rules” of the Christian life. Comments such as “You Christians never have any fun. You don’t ever ______.”

Have you ever heard or been the target of comments from non-believers related to the “rules” of the Christian life. Comments such as “You Christians never have any fun. You don’t ever ______.” Fill in the blank with whatever may come to mind related to the legalistic thinking that non-believers tend to have related to our faith in Christ. You may sometimes wonder why God seems to give so many rules to follow.

When Nina was growing up, she often wondered about all those Thou shall not’s. She pictured God as a strict taskmaster, scolding anyone who appeared to be having a good time. As Nina matured and learned more about the love of God, she discovered that God was not trying to stop her from having fun; instead, He was protecting her from the painful reality of sin. When we sin, consequences always follow – disappointment, disillusionment, even despair. Sin’s consequences can also include sickness and disease. While not all disease is a result of sin, some dangerous and harmful behaviors can result in serious illness and loss of health. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

A sexually promiscuous lifestyle dramatically increases the odds of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). STDs lead to painful sores, certain types of cancer, infertility, nervous system disorders and other long-term conditions since many are not curable and are passed on to future partners. AIDS is a sobering example of how the sinful choices of a few people can impact the innocent through tainted blood and infected newborns.

Illegal drug abuse, smoking and alcohol consumption produce lifelong harmful consequences. All are addictive, mind altering, body damaging substances that may shorten life, affect the quality of life, and thus potentially limit opportunities to serve God. Some long-term damage of drug abuse includes nervous system disorders, loss of brain cells and memory, heart damage, and seizures. Smoking has been proven to cause emphysema and lung, mouth and throat cancers, yet people still choose to participate in this harmful behavior. Drinking alcohol can lead to a dulling of the senses, malnutrition, loss of brain cells, liver disease, accidents and heart disease. None of these behaviors honor God, and all cause both short-term and lifelong harm to the body.

Gluttony and sloth (or laziness) are listed as two of the seven deadly sins according to 6th century religious teachings. While the Bible doesn’t list these in a specific passage, the Apostle Paul and Proverbs both teach on the hazards of over-indulgence and inactivity. Overeating while remaining inactive is a deadly combination that leads to weight gain, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, loss of strength, and a breakdown of the body.

When God gave us direction and laws for what was right and wrong, He did so not to bring bondage to legalism but to set us free from the consequences of sin. God designed the human body and knew what would be best for us. He outlined the best choices for us. When we choose to follow God’s guidelines and remain sexually pure, avoid substance abuse, eat healthfully and use our bodies as God intended, we avoid the negative consequences and resulting diseases. Fortunately, God has also created the body to rebuild and repair. He can heal our diseases and bring glory in our lives when we choose to follow Him. Live according to Romans 12:1 and present your body to God as “a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship (HCSB).”
Branda Polk holds a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science, and is a certified personal trainer, wellness coach, conference speaker, and health writer in Lebanon, Tennessee.
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