Panadol is probably the most common drug that we use for pretty much most of our day to day illnesses such as cold & flu, headache, migraine, toothache, backache, period pain etc.
It helps alleviate the pain by interfering with the pain receptor system and therefore helping you not feel the pain even though technically the pain still remains in your body. I know I use Panadol quite often whenever I get sick, in fact I thank God so much for such a wonderful drug which is so readily available at such a cheap price.
However, as much as I know the benefits of Panadol, I know it only simply alleviates the pain. At the end of the day, it doesn’t tackle the cause of the pain itself, but rather only the symptoms.
What if I need something more than a Panadol?
Don’t you just hate it when you are feeling super sick so you go to your GP, and after the doctor examines you for like 3 minutes, he/she says “Yeap, it’s just a common cold, I will give you prescription for Panadol”.
I mean if I just wanted to a Panadol, I could have visited my local pharmacy instead of booking an appointment and driving all the way out here.
Of course, I am no medical expert and the doctorsare probably right when they tell us that all we need is Panadol. But I guess my frustration comes from a deep desire and wish to tackle the disease at its root, rather than just covering up the symptoms.
Panadol is never the solution when it comes to spiritual sickness.
When it comes to spiritual sickness and battling sin, Panadol is never the solution. Let’s say I am struggling with lust. It is no good to simply just struggle with your sexual desire by being strong willed and fight the desire with all your might.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying do not struggle and wrestle with sin, in fact the bible says the opposite:
- “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Hebrews chapter 12, verse 4).
- “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James chapter 4, verse 7).
All I am saying is that the sin that you are struggling is only a symptom. So simply fighting sin is like taking a Panadol when you should be taking antibiotic pills alongside with it in order to tackle the root problem.
So, what is the root problem?
The root problem is our disconnection with God. The fact that we are wandering off from God means that our love for God is diminishing. Because we have lost our love, we wander off and fancy worldly and sinful things according to our fleshly desire.
Rather than simply fighting sin at the surface level, we ought to strive for a deeper connecting communion with God, seek deeper presence of his spirit, and being deeply captivated by his love.
Remember the times you came back home from your Summer bible camp and you felt super godly for like a good week, so much so that you didn’t even want to sin but rather all you ever thought about was how you can glorify and please God?
Yeap! That is exactly how you tackle the root of your spiritual sickness. You don’t simply wrestle with sin and deny yourself (i.e. mortification), but you also at the same time strive to be renewed in the mind through the work of the spirit in ever increasing joy in God (i.e. vivification).
If you are captivated by his amazing love, grace, beauty and majesty, the temptation that used to be so heavy will not even be a match.
What is the chief end of man?
The very first question of Westminster Shorter Catechism says,“What is the chief end of man?” – which is a fancy way of saying “What is the ultimate purpose of man?”.
The answer goes – Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
How awesome is that! One of our ultimate purpose as human being is to thoroughly enjoy our relationship with God!
No wonder Jesus said that the biggest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Matthew chapter 22, verse 37).
Just keep it simple – remember your summer camp days. Whenever your battle with sin becomes too tiring and difficult, focus on just loving and enjoying God through reading his word, connecting with him through prayer and worshipping him.
I assure you once your love is restored, all those sins that you once lusted over would magically look despicable.
Richard Kwon is from Auckland, a regular lay person who just loves he Lord.