Such is the curse of pollen, mites, and dander. Transferred by bugs and birds and wind, these miniscule stickers can be a real nuisance to the immune system. Unfortunately, there are allergens in the spirit realm. Things floating in the atmosphere that aren’t meant for human habitation. Discontentment that follows a 30-second commercial. Disgruntle after being around a coworker with a bad attitude. A negative shift in opinion at the venting of an upset friend. Fear upon observing someone else’s misfortune. These are allergens that can numb our senses, making us dull to the life of the Spirit and distracting us with the human effort to control what has entered our system. Left unchecked, these minute invaders can cause a snotty mess and rob us of the blessings of the moment.
When a spirit has been affected by environmental influencers, it’s handled much the same as allergies. Take pollen as an example.
1. Get away from the problem. We avoid pollen by saying indoors and by keeping windows and doorways closed. Spiritually speaking, there are some influencers, we just have to stay away from. We may have to avoid complainers, marriage bashers, under-miners of leadership, and gossips, neither opening our doors to their company nor “opening the window” to their conversation.
2. Filter what can’t be avoided. Just as a HEPA filter adds blockers to minimize pollen’s entrance into a building, we can filter what we permit into our spirits. Perhaps it’s changing channels during a commercial or diverting the direction of a conversation, but we have some power over what we let invade our lives. At the very least, we can pray if we must suffer through a bombardment against our spirit man. I’ve done this while shopping. As the music beckoned me to remember former, sinful seasons of my life, I prayed and thanked God for bringing me out of that old lifestyle. Prayer was my HEPA filter!
3. Wash out the problem. Saline solution can do quite a healing work as it cleanses the sinuses of irritants. Our spirits are “washed by the water of the Word.” Picking up the Scriptures when spiritual lethargy has set in will cleanse the inner man of pesky offenses, dullness of passion, and forsaken purpose.
4. Medicate the symptoms until the problem is under control. Decongestants and antihistamines work to resolve the unpleasantness associated with allergies. They break up the build-up and block the compounds released by cells associated with the body’s effort to heal itself. When our efforts to heal ourselves have failed, and all that lingers is gunk and dilated blood vessels, we need help. Spiritual assistance is always connected to the medicine of the Word. Whether it is a principle we apply—like laughter being a good medicine or associating with fellow believers—or a tool—like a YouTube sermon or Pandora worship channel— that enables us to build our faith by listening to the Word, we can pour the oil and wine of THE SPIRIT into our spirit.
5. Plan ahead. As with anything that has the potential for harm, prevention is best. Immediate washing of clothes after outdoor excursions, frequent vacuuming, and in some cases, allergy shots are preventative measures to avoid the issues pollen can cause. Spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible study, and church attendance, as well as accountability and regular self-examination, can go a long way in preventing the little foxes from spoiling the vine.
Both pollen and spiritual pollutants can drift into our environment from time to time; therefore, we must be on guard for what we cannot see. By being mindful of these invisible encroachments into our lives, we can prevent and recover from their invasion. We can maintain our focus and purpose. We can keep our eyes open and, hopefully, securely fasten our faces to our skulls.
Tip/Tidbit: Are you experiencing spiritual lethargy or snotty attitudes? Consider possible changes to your present environment. Take steps to recover from setbacks so you don't become soul-sick.