Thursday 17 August 2023

Effects of an illness - temptation to sin

I've just had a couple of days of debilitating illness (flu-ish thing); with the coincident bonus of a migraine throughout; and this was severe and unremitting enough to switch-off my powers of concentration and consecutive thinking. I was only really alive to the present moment, and that present was actively unpleasant. 

Several effects were noticeable. One was that I - almost instantly - fell-into a double-negative "defensive posture" in my basic attitude to life. In other words, I was focused on getting relief from the various pains and aches and other symptoms. It was hard to pray sincerely for anything much else!

When I have that kind of illness I find that I get even more selfish than usual; I can't be bothered by anything outside of a narrow radius of what might palliate my situation. I couldn't think seriously about other people, or positive spiritual goals of life - but, and this seems significant, I was still worried about the future. 

All of which shows that an illness of that kind is a pretty significant temptation to sin; and that I was incapable of resisting these temptations. All I could do was recognize what was going-on, recognize that my attitude was wrong and bad - and repent it. 

A microcosm of life - in other words. Everybody succumbs to sins; and potentially, any of these sins could develop into a mind-set that would block salvation. 

If I was stuck for very long in the kind of condition I experienced a couple of days ago - and that was nothing very special or severe in the scale of things - then I may not be able to meet and "rise above" the challenge; and would likely become very negative and demanding in my attitude to life. 

But, the great thing about being a Christian, is that this is not fatal; because no matter how weak we are or how badly we fail - it is repentance that is decisive.   

Of course it is better to meet-and-beat a sin - and the benefits of having overcome a temptation will be carried through to eternity. 

However; the fact is that life is too tough for anybody to beat every sin; sooner or later (and typically several times a day at least) everybody gets beaten by life.

Ultimately, that is the nature of mortal life - and it doesn't matter: so long as we acknowledge the spiritual facts.


1 comment:

William Wright (WW) said...

Glad you are feeling better!

You can probably extend this lesson beyond acute illness and on to the fact that we are eternal beings inhabiting temporal, decaying bodies and just this fact alone means that we are all continually 'sick' to a certain (and likely great) degree, even when we would judge ourselves as being relatively physically healthy.

The resulting impact on our core selves I don't think can be underestimated, even it can't be fully appreciated.