Combating Cancer

November 2010

It is scary how many people I know who come down with cancer. It is insidious and appears at the least expected time in the worst places. In thinking about this, it reminds me of another kind of cancer that most Christians suffer from, but don’t realize. That is a cancer in the body of Christ.

We often view ourselves – especially when it comes to our personal lives – as disconnected from the church; and so we tolerate minor sins in our lives, because, after all, it only concerns us. However, the truth is much different. If we look at the classic “body passage” in 1 Corinthians 12, we find a very telling verse: “But God has so composed the body ... that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, a ll suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (1 Co 12:24b-26 — ESV) Especially considering the last two sentences, the application I wish to make is that when I tolerate any sin in my own life, I am actually harming my brother or sister in Christ. Cancer in me – one cell in the Body – affects everyone else.

Thus arises the question, am I truly questing for holiness? Am I actually thinking of my brother and sister by seeking to keep myself holy – not only for my benefit but for the benefit of my fellow Body-members? If unchecked, a tiny bit of cancer can spread in the human body and destroy it completely. A tiny speck of sin in my life can spread from me to my Christian siblings and corrupt the local body, as well as the larger body. Let’s ask ourselves daily, “How am I doing in being holy – not just for me, but for the whole Body?”