DISEASES OF BODY AND SOUL
by Joanne Hutchison
As a member of the medical profession I am often confronted with diseases of the human body. As a Christian, I am confronted daily with diseases of the soul. The problems of the soul are all around us. I am really concerned when these diseases are in fellow Christians. In the business world one meets all sorts of people. All too often one will meet those who consider themselves to be faithful members of the Lord's church whose words or actions tell another story. Matthew 5:16 reminds us to, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." James 1:26 tells us, "If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless." We may act religious on Sunday morning, but if our actions and language through the rest of the week do not reflect the inspired writing of God's word, our religion is useless.
Let us begin with the dress of a Christian. I Tim. 2:9 states, "in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing." The word modest in the Greek means, "orderly and of good behavior" (Strong). Propriety or shamefacedness means "bashfulness (toward men) and awe or reverence (toward God)" (Strong). Moderation or sobriety is "having soundness of mind and self-control" (Strong). Can a Christian lady dress in short dresses, low-cut tops, tight attire and bathing suits? Would a true Christian lady go out in public in her underwear? Some "Christians" go out all the time in bathing suits, and the only difference in bathing suits (whether one or two pieces) and underwear is the type of material used to make them. Have you ever thought about this? If there is excess skin hanging out of the top, bottom or side of your clothing, is that being shamefaced or bashful? Are body parts showing which could cause a man to lust and therefore sin. Matt. 5:28 tells us, "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."Gal. 5:19 includes adultery as one of the works of the flesh,"Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." Would a real Christian want to put a man at risk for losing his soul? I think not.
What about our language? Is it okay to utter foul language if one is just quoting another person? Matthew 15:11 tells us that it's "Not what goes into the mouth [that] defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." Ephesians 4:29 states, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." It doesn't say let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth unless you're just quoting someone, does it? In Colossians 3:8, Christians are told to " . . . put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth." There are also slang words often spoken by Christians which would fall into this category. I won't list them because I believe it's just as wrong to write them as it is to say them.
Immodest dress and bad language are just two of the diseases of the soul. Both of these can lead to a fatal disease of the soul if allowed to get out of control. On the other hand, both have cures which would allow for full recovery. I Peter 2:21 tells us, "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps." A good rule of thumb to use is, if Christ were with us physically, would we wear the same clothing or say the same things.
In closing, I would like to leave the thoughts of this poem that was published in a church bulletin we received.
If Jesus Came . . .
Would you have to change your clothes before you let him in?
Or hide some magazines, and put the Bible where they had been?
Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?
Could you let Jesus walk right in, or would you rush about?
And I wonder if the Savior spent a day or two with you,
Would you go right on doing the things you always do?
Would you go right on saying, the things you always say?
Or would life for you continue as it does from day to day?
Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you go?
Or would you change your plans for just a day or so?
Would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on?
Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?
It might be interesting to know, the things that you would do.
If Jesus came in person, to
spend some time with you.