During the past two years living in this pandemic we have heard certain words frequently. One is carrier and another is contagion.
The other day I was thinking about certain people in my life and how being around them just made me feel better in general. Then I realized that there were yet others through the years that, despite my best efforts, would bring me down.
Then I realized we are all carriers of something. We all have an emotional and spiritual contagion that we spread with every word we speak and every body movement and facial expression we make.
I have a passion to see people succeed and therefore I am always attempting to be encouraging and helpful in whatever way I can be. I don’t feel threatened by others success, in fact I feel elated to see that maybe through an encouraging word or sharing a bit of knowledge, I have put a little wind in their sails.
Thinking back through my own life, there have been people that have served me well in that way. They were encouraging and cheering me on. They would give a bit of well timed and much needed advice. I'm not talking about people who are 'yes' people, who no matter what I do or say, they agree with it. I am referring to sincere encouragers, who also have the courage to speak the truth to me in compassion.
Then there were others who would say things that would not be encouraging. I don’t think they meant to deflate my sail hope, but the result was the same.
When someone is struggling in their own business, pointing out all the reasons why success for them is a slim chance, is not the thing to do. Pointing out why the odds are stacked against them is not encouraging, at all. And, I do not know why people feel compelled to do that.
When someone is sick and you believe in faith, or you partake of a certain lifestyle that you are convinced will keep you well, it does not help to point out the reason that they may be sick is because they do not adhere to the way you believe or live, even if it is true.
When someone is engaging in a lifestyle that is dangerous and even taking them down a path you know is destructive, don’t be arrogant and derogatory in your delivery of that fact to them. It may need to be said, but seeds planted without compassion will ensure they do not take root and thrive. In fact the opposite it true. Even well meaning seeds planted without compassion will grow toxic roots.
Any word said, any action taken, must be done with compassion. That is the only way to build a bridge to deliver the word you wish to say. We also need to look at what motivates us to carry an emotional contagion to others that will cause them harm.
Some people really love spreading the emotional contagion of fear. There are more variants of this horrific emotional disease than any other I can think of. Some avoid spreading some variants while feeling wholly justified in engaging in others.
Even though we may know that the bible says over and over again that fear is wrong and not from God, we decide we are justified in engaging in it and more often that not being a carrier of this evil emotional contagion.
Everyone will have fear come to them in their mind and say the worst will happen in any given circumstance. It happens to us all. But, we are told not to entertain fear in any form.
We know we are not to fear in any form. But, we choose to do it anyway.
So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, for him it is sin. NASB
James is quite blunt in his book of the bible, but I love the matter of fact way that he delivers the truth.
Fear and faith do not, cannot coexist in one mind and one heart. Faith will free you while fear will bind you and yet we make multiple excuses why it is okay to defy God’s word and entertain fear anyway.
I often hear people say that fearing in this way or that way is wisdom. That is justification for sin. Fear will never keep you from trouble or guide you to a right decision. But faith will.
5) Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6) But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7) That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8) He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. NASB (emphasis mine)
Good ole’ James, blunt as ever.
Why is this a big deal? I’ve seen a massive rise in fear and fear carriers over the past two years. Many feed on the media that feeds fear to the public, being essentially ground zero for generating fear.
As the public watches, their fear and anxiety grows and discouragement sets in. Once they have been infected with the emotional contagion of fear, then they become a carrier and everyone they talk to has the potential to become infected themselves. On and on it goes.
There is a weird comfort that people feel when spreading fear. It is the same sort of intoxication as spreading gossip. There is some type of endorphin released that causes a momentary satisfaction that comes straight from the enemy to keep us spreading the toxic contagion. However, the euphoria quickly dissipates and therefore like a drug addiction, needs to be repeated often.
We are ALL carriers of something. We can all choose what we are carriers of.
I made the choice for myself a very long time ago that I will do my best to remain infected with genuine love, genuine hope, genuine peace, genuine excitement, genuine encouragement, and to be a profuse carrier of those emotional contagions wherever I go. The only way I can have them to share is to get them from their ground zero which is Father God.
Let me encourage you today to disengage from the toxic carriers of emotional contagions and plug-in and engage with the one true source of life. We can turn this around. We can infect people with hope, and love.
I recently wrote about the sadness of unanswered prayers. This is a good opportunity to ask yourself, could my unanswered prayers be because I am double-minded wavering from fear to an attempt at faith. If so, then do whatever you need to do to rid yourself of the toxic contagion of fear. You will never regret it.
I want to encourage you to leave me any comments below. They are so encouraging and motivating to me.
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Let me ruffle some more feathers here (I seem to be so good at it). I take issue with the little ‘ask Jesus into your heart’ prayers we tack on to the end of our religious box sessions. That does not lead to being born again. At best, it may allow those saying it to realize that there is a need in their life to allow Jesus to help them change and by saying that prayer sincerely they are acknowledging that something in their life needs to change and they give that to Jesus, which is amazing. But...