Hello weekend readers. I’m sure you looked at the title of this musing and wondered what does a fungus have to do with a devotion? I agree, sounds crazy but after reading a new article from a medical journal I get online, it made sense—for our bodies, minds and souls!
Dr. Cornelius Clancy, a well-known infection diseases doctor and part of the World Health Organization and the CDC, was alerted recently about fungal pathogens. The statistics tell us that fungal infections kill more than 1.5 million people each year and they have become more prevalent and worse, resistant to treatment. From molds to yeasts to inhalable spores, over 19 fungal pathogens have been identified by WHO as the biggest threats to human health. Sadly, fungal pathogens are historically understudied, leading to gaps in the understanding, surveillance, and treatment of infections. One WHO official, Dr. Carmen Pessoa-Silva said, with alarm, “We do not have a real sense of the size of the problem.”
Yikes, we are trying to contain viruses and now there is a fungus among us! Today, I take that fungus on a journey in our hearts and souls. What is infecting us today that has such a hold on us that even people of faith spew lies and derogatory words about others, and hold on to such anger that has created division and delusion across the globe?
Of course, the answer is sin and until we are claimed home to heaven, we will wrestle with the core of sin we have. Like a fungus, it is insidious, slithering through our hearts and minds, taking hold of us in ways we think we would never embrace and act on until we do act and, like dynamite, something blows up. This infection of hatred, anger, division, etc., moves us from the love of God to the love of self. The more we let the fungus grow, the deeper we slip away from living as God’s children and looking more like the world and the society we live in.
Throughout Scripture we read God’s warning of not being a part of this world but living in it with a perspective of faith from God and what God expects of us. In Matthew’s Gospel we see the story of a lawyer, an expert of the law who asked Jesus what the most important commandment was. I love His response: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
To me, Jesus’ words say “All of Christianity comes down to how we love God and how everything we do—relationships—work—entertainment—education—displays our love for God. No success, status, or possession will matter at the end of our days. How we loved God and loved others will be our victory.” Or, we could—considering our devotion’s title—say that when we live God’s way the deadly fungus will NOT be among us!
The world is watching people who confess their faith in God—what are they saying about us? What testimony does our life portray? How easy has it been for us to blend right in with our society that, like the alarming words of Dr. Pessoa-Silva said above, “We do not have a real sense of the size of the problem?” In other words, we are losing our way and compromising our walk of faith in this life.
Let’s end our musing from the Apostle Paul, in Romans 1 from the Message. I think Paul understood “the fungus among us” then and his warning was to get help to stop the fungus so it does not infect future generations. How well have we heeded his warning? AMEN.
1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you:
Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work
and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.
Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.
Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity,
God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it.
Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.
Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone.
If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody.
Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do.
“I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
20-21 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry,
go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink.
Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.
Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.