Physical illnesses have one redeeming quality: you can test for them.
Sure, the tests aren’t perfect. Sometimes they’re slow and expensive. They have occasional false positives or negatives. But they are generally quantifiable.
If your blood sugar level clocks in at 1,000, the doctor knows what to do. If the EKG shows that you’ve flat-lined, we know we better act fast!
Spiritual sicknesses require more discernment to diagnose. There’s not a blood panel we can order to tell us that gives us the warning signs of our greed or pride. There’s no x-ray that can spot a malignant mass of bitterness spreading within us. No numbers are available that tell us what the three-month running average of our spiritual sweetness is. Determining our spiritual health—or “soundness” if you prefer Paul’s term—requires intentional introspection, self-evaluation, and the accountability of community.
So what’s the plan?
For the next several weeks we’re going to study some specific spiritual sicknesses. We’ll compare them with some physical ailments that you’re already familiar with to help make the study sick…and then, we’ll look for the cures!
What do you think some of the most common spiritual sicknesses are?