I need not do a lot of explanation on what COVID-19 is and all that it can do to a person. However, I will pick just ten of the common social effects from COVID-19. The freshness of the COVID-19 predicament in our minds and experience saves me time in explaining the ten points I picked. I will just mention them, giving brief justification for some, and I know everyone who gets to read this will know that these points are true for COVID-19.
- Separation or exclusion from the masses.
- Opens up for other sicknesses. That is why it is always not specific as to what will cause death in a COVID-19 patient.
- It affects relatives and friends of the victim.
- It is highly contagious.
- It takes time to fully recover from all the symptoms even when tests are negative.
- It can be asymptomatic or annonymous.
- It is a mystery. People who have followed all regulations have missed the mark and died from it.
- Destroyer of good plans such as events, education, projects, meetings, etc. The regulations that are set at prevalent times of COVID-19 are very stringent. You have no way of doing things a normal or else you risk being charged for violations.
- It demands for compulsive behaviour.
- It does not discriminate by colour, race, status, etc.
The resemblance of COVID-19 in the spiritual world is sin. I will recap the points above as I compare and contrast sin with COVID-19.
- Separation or exclusion from the masses. Sin causes people to live in fear of being caught and brought to justice (Proverbs 28:1). They know that they are in the wrong yet they are powerless to help themselves. This reminds of the writer of the book of Romans in chapter 7 verse 14 and 15 where s/he declares that what s/he wants to do s/he doesn’t do but what s/he hates is what s/he does. The human mind is deceptive to believe that the safe way of committing sin is doing it in privacy, yet they eye of the Lord who is the one that takes count of our sins sees everywhere at all times. This is well unveiled by the story of Ananias and Saphirah who lied to the Holy Spirit in privacy, thinking that nobody will know about it. People would want to hide from the general public when indulging in sin.
Worst of all, sin separates man from God. The Pharisees confirmed that it is a known fact that God does not listen to sinners (John 9:31), yet He responds to the right prayer of reunion with Him. God is Holy and shall never tolerate sin of any kind. It was sin that separated Adam and Eve from God.
- Opens up for other sicknesses. The person who has fallen into sin wants to cover it up, as this happens, the person further indulge in more sins. David of old is a culprit of this predicament. After committing adultery with the wife of Bathsheba, he went on to commit murder. Similarly, after Judas Iscariot had betrayed Jesus, as if that was not enough, he went on to commit suicide. The wise would talk to God to help them deal with their sins immediately they realise they have indulged. I have dealt with this subject in the article “How a Christian deals with sin versus how a non-Christian deals with sin”.
- It affects relatives and friends of the victim. Sin affects everyone around the sinner. The Bible warns that such effects even fall on generations to come. It is the result of sin that some children go to bed on empty stomachs, live in fear of harm, etc. Some of the sins may been done in absolute privacy. In Joshua 7, the Bible tells a story of Achan who sinned by stealing that which was dedicated for destruction. Just by his actions, the entire Israel nation was affected. Thirty six men died, leaving behind widows and fatherless children.
- It is highly contagious. Sin looks good in the eye and tasty in the tongue. Just by being around sinners can make you fall into sin. In common language, this is called collusion. That is why the Bible says that bad company corrupts good character and Christians should stay away from such people (1 Corinthians 15:33). The benefits from it look lucrative and desirable.
- It takes time to fully recover from it even when tests are negative. When a person continues in sin, s/he locks himself the doors of recovery as s/he goes. When one repents there is need for restitution. Total repentance means all that has been acquired wrongly must be returned to the rightful owner. It does not matter what it is. For example, looters should return whatever they took unlawfully back to owners to clear their sins in the sight of God. Imagine how difficult this is even for a small thing, how much more if it is multiple things of huge value. I cover the subject of restitution in the article “The call for urgent restitution for all”. It is daunting how people are so opposed to restitution yet repentance is incomplete without it.
- It can be asymptomatic or anonymous. A person can deceive himself or herself to believe that s/he has no sin if the people around do not care about the offense. Some sinful practices are so common to the point that they are acceptable and no longer make us feel guilty of sin. It is as if people believe that God’s standard on sin evolved over time. It is not surprising that Jesus Christ reveal that some believers will be rejected on judgement day even when thy quote having performed miracles in His name (Matthew 7:23). Indeed if the Lord chastises you while you are alive, count yourself very lucky because you then have a chance to re-correct yourself in in His sight.
- It is a mystery. The ordinary person cannot understand sin. Sin can be very tricky and so much entangling. The verse that says “he that knoweth to do good, but doeth it not, to him it is sin” in James 4:17 makes sin very sneaky. For example, if you see your husband bribing the police officer and not reprimand him, you are committing sin. Another example is that of knowingly driving beyond the speed limit and forgetting about it afterwards. That is why a person who is jailed for murder, unless s/he gets converted to Christianity, can come back for the same offence in the near future.
- Destroyer of good plans. Sin can stop people from achieving great things for themselves and for God. When sin stands on the way, all good intensions fall off. Think of Samson, David, Moses, Solomon and Adam. There are a number of examples of people who lost it all to sin in the Bible. If you are not careful to shun sin, you may miss the perfect plan of God about your life.
- It demands for compulsive behaviour. Once one is under the rule of sin, terms and conditions apply. If the terms of living is sin are compromised, the sinner risks being exposed, jailed, persecuted by his/her companions or even get murdered, losing some possessions, forced to live under strict conditions, etc. Such oppressive behaviour can only go away when the person decides to let go of the sin and be ready for whatever circumstances that may result.
- It does not discriminate by colour, race, status, etc. I am reminded of leprosy and Naman the mighty man of valor according to the Bible. A successful man in battle or by any other standards is not immune to sin. Similar to leprosy, a COVID-19 patient needs a lot of courage to survive it. In fact, COVID-19 has a lot of similarities with leprosy. Unless one takes courage and deal with his or her sin, it will eventually kill the person (Romans 6:23).
No man can overcome sin without the help of God. Just like the case is with COVID-19 where the victim has a role to play for healing to take effect, the sinner also must do something about his/her sin to be free from it. All efforts should be made for sin to be confessed to all that have been offended and affected when sin was committed. In order of priority, this is usually God, the people (which could be organisations, companies, churches, governments, etc.) and oneself.
God is the first because one needs God to deal with the next groups in the process. God will understand even when the sinner happens to lose his/he life in the process of making good with the other affected parties. People around are next because they cannot buy into your story of having received salvation if an old offense has not been settled. The solution is on taking a stand about sin and dealing with it spiritually.
The benefits of cleansing oneself from sin
Sin, which I define as a good resemblance of COVID-19, is a snare and often people fall into it without planning or knowing. The good news is that God has made provision for mankind to reconcile with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Purposefully and voluntarily, a person can gain access to God’s favour through the only way provided, Jesus Christ. When you purpose and believe in your heart, and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, then you get saved. In other words, you get accepted to God as a righteous person.
It is after this that God counts you on those to who He says, “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24). It is then that you will gain eternal life.
I encourage you to take the step of making a personal union with Jesus Christ. He is there with you as you read this article. Simply call unto Him and He will respond.