Cancer is terrifying. It is the leading cause of death for most developed countries, and we all have at least one person or know a person around us who has directly or indirectly suffered from cancer.
My father recently had to go through a surgery because of his cancer, and is currently receiving his 6 months chemo treatment. Watching him go through all this pain, it reminded me of a similar pain that I also go through as a Christian, our battle with sin.
The symptoms may not be as immediate
My father has recently discovered his colon cancer as he went through a whole body examination for the first time in his life. This included simple tests such as blood samples and MRI scans, as well as uncommon ones such as gastroscopy and colon endoscopy.
During his colon endoscopy procedure, the doctors identified a small tumor. It turns out that my dad was already in his third stage of his colon cancer. His illness has well matured already but he never had any superficial symptoms to indicate that he might possibly have something very deadly lurking within him.
Not all the time, but sometimes, sin acts in a similar fashion. We are sinners and we are just not able to properly diagnose our own condition before God. It is only when we are thoroughly examined by the Holy Spirit that we can see what kind of hidden sins are lurking within us.
Yes sin has its symptoms and is constantly working to destroy our soul and spirit, but sometimes their damages are so subtle that we don’t know that we have such illness.
For years I lived my Christian life and thought I was somewhat well aware of the sins that I struggled or came to face with. However, it wasn’t until the Holy Spirit revealed my heart that I realized I had unconsciously and unknowingly neglected my brother for years.
I was so surprised because I was so oblivious about it, yet I was still in a somewhat spiritually healthy state. This truly helped me to finally realize David’s psalm:
“But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults” Psalm 19, verse 12.
Surgery is not the end, it’s only the beginning
After my father’s successful surgery, he is currently going through 6 months of chemo treatment. The purpose of the treatment is to ensure full eradication of any remaining cancer cells and to stop it from spreading elsewhere throughout the body.
After we discover our own hidden sins and we confess them before God, it is not the end. We are to be under “chemo treatment” to ensure that we fully eradicate and root out the hidden sins that are secretly destroying us, or else they might reappear and harm us in due time.
This is why a simple repentance on the spot won’t do. It is a spiritual battle until our very last breath. Even if you go through the surgery and a successful chemo treatment, the cancer might still recur and come back at any moment.
Even if you have defeated cancer you need to live the rest of your life in a careful manner (i.e. proper diet, exercise etc.) to ensure that you don’t give cancer a room to come back.
Likewise spiritually, we need to fight our sin until our last breath and live in such a way to ensure that very sin does not creep into our life again and enslave us and bring us to destruction.
Don’t fall asleep, lest you get ripped up by a herd of lion
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter chapter 5, verse 8.
Be alert and sober minded. One moment you think you got this sin handled, next thing you know the devil jumps upon you in midst of your pride and tear you into pieces.
Richard Kwon is from Auckland, just a regular layperson who loves the Lord.
Richard Kwon is from Auckland, a regular lay person who just loves the Lord.