There’s something about a persistent cough that makes people feel uneasy. The sentiment is heightened if you fail to cover your mouth. But even then, your hand is practically a Petri dish!
A while back I had been coughing for a couple of days. (Fortunately, this was before the Ebola scare so my whereabouts were not being tracked by the Center for Disease Control. ) So I headed to the drugstore. I’m usually ‘in and out’ when I shop, but this time I was stuck. I noticed a package that read, “Compare active ingredient.” So I did.
The idea was to educate people, so that they don’t just choose the fanciest packaging.
Eureka! Some of the cough drops had considerably more ‘active ingredient’ than others! I picked up the strongest one and checked out.
As I waited in line, I couldn’t help but imagine taking a cough drop that had little to no active ingredient--virtually a hard candy.
Who the freak wants hard candy as a substitute for medicine?! Especially when you have anticipated healing! It’d be a case of false advertisement.
As I waited in line, I couldn’t help but see a correlation. My packaging was Christian, but there was little to no active ingredient within me--there was little to no Holy Spirit. At what point am I written off as a false advertisement?
Theoretically, a false advertisement doesn’t have to know that it’s false to be false. It just has to fail to ‘have within’ or fail to ‘do what’ it claims. And I claim to be a follower of Christ--billions of us do.
Christ called us to be salt and light, to heal our world. We often try to force ourselves so to be ‘Christian’—we use our own strength, and we fail. Liken it to being a hard candy that is trying to force itself to soothe a cough.
There’s no active ingredient.
The Holy Spirit is the active ingredient. Without the Spirit, we cannot be His disciples. Vice versa. If we are not disciplining ourselves after Christ, the Spirit is not active within us.
Let’s not fool ourselves. It’s one thing to falsely advertise, it’s another to not realize our own falsehood. Lest we be surprised when He tells us, “I never knew you.”
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” 2 Corinthians 13:5