off

Spring Allergies and Living Out Your Christianity

Aahh… the rites of Spring – tuning up the lawn mower and removing the gasoline you left in the tank since last Fall, mulching the weed – I mean “flower beds” – digging out the  patio/deck furniture, igniting the senses at Citizen’s Bank Park, paying what’s due to the IRS, and – for 37 million Americans – allergic rhinitis, aka “hay fever.” If you have it, you
know it! If you don’t, count your blessings! You breathe in the pollen and your immune system kicks into overdrive – mistakenly identifying the pollen as foreign invaders and –
in a fighting mood, releasing antibodies. This leads to the release of chemicals called “histamines” into the blood, and voila – runny nose, itchy eyes, and counting the days until winter. Ever since I was a young teenager, I have been a “user” – first Afrin, a potent prescription nasal spray now available OTC… then a myriad of oral meds… and finally, ten years ago, regular
shots!
When you get an allergy shot, our doctor injects small doses of substances you are allergic to and your body begins to build up a tolerance to the allergens, resulting in fewer symptoms over the years. After seven years of shots, and a measure of success, I decided to go “cold turkey.” Things were great for several years but this year, my body’s immune system fought back with a vengeance! After a weekend in the mountains, I am now ready to run up the white flag and go back to shots. It’s ironic that subjecting your body to the very thing that creates problems will ultimately cause your body to become accustomed to its presence (i.e. the theory behind immunizations). How true spiritually as well!
…sinful actions that once bothered the conscience eventually become comfortable habits
…handling conflict negatively – lashing out, shutting down, or defensiveness – becomes your default reaction in every conflict, without a second thought
…anger issues are excused as “just the way you are”
…what was once inexcusable is tolerated and ultimately, embraced
…things once embraced as blessings become expected entitlements

It works another way as well. The gist of a quote I read years ago was:

When professing Christians are careless about living for Christ, those around them are prone to get just enough of a dose of Christianity that they become immunized against the “real thing.”
Wow, talk about sobering! But think about it – children may get just enough of their parents’ dabbling in Christ to become skeptics. Coworkers or family members see just enough hypocrisy to conclude that Christianity isn’t for them. Many church-goers relegate Christianity to a few hours a week, just enough for others to conclude that Christ is irrelevant to life in the 21st century.
In Acts, the disciples were identified as “the real deal” and people around them were astonished, “and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” You see, it is impossible to really be with Jesus…to walk with Jesus…and not be genuinely impacted. You know it and others see it! Let’s make sure when it comes to our Christianity, we’re living it out fully and radically
every day, not just meting it out in small, measured doses.
Aaa…aaa…choooo! Now, if you will excuse me, Zyrtec and Claritin stock is about to soar…
In His grace and for His glory,
Pastor Bill
About the Author

Christian. Senior Pastor of Bible Fellowship Church of Newark. Husband. Father of 4 daughters. Grandfather.