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What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

The length of time between when you get sick and the time when you know you’re sick is sometimes a relatively short period of time, but then again, sometimes it’s not. Did you know that you can be sick and not even realize it? If you get a cold you find out pretty quickly because the symptoms are so obvious: the sneezing, wheezing, sniffing, snorting, coughing, throat-scratching, and the funny way you sound when your nose is stopped up. But sometimes it seems like the more life-threatening sicknesses lurk more often in the shadows and only broadcast their hellish symptoms when it’s nearly too late to stop them.

The best way to know that you’re sick before the symptoms show up is to plan regular checkups with your doctor. He’s a professional and knows what to look for. I don’t mean to strike terror in the hearts of our faithful hypochondriac readers, but instead to emphasize the value of regular checkups.

Even more important than the regular checkups that keep your physical health from going over a cliff, you need regular spiritual checkups to prevent problems in your spiritual health. I realized that I needed one of these checkups last night.

After leaving the office, I dropped off some clothes at the cleaners—my two shirts and a pair of wife’s thin pants. Taking my garments, the employee mistook the pants for a third shirt and said, “Okay, that’s three shirts. Your total is $2.97.” Since I knew that cleaning pants cost a couple dollars more than cleaning shirts, I said nothing and let him believe that I had three shirts. I traded my integrity for a couple lousy bucks! I needed to schedule a spiritual checkup.

That evening while taking a walk with my nine-month old and my dog, I talked to God about how and where I got off in the ditch. Although the lie at the cleaners was part of it, there were deeper issues in our relationship that needed to be uncovered and discussed. I had been spiritually sick and didn’t know it. I agreed with him about my sin, about how it hurts him, about my failure to trust him, and about how these compromising choices were not in keeping with my holy, righteous identity in Christ. I thanked him for his forgiveness and grace that He bought for me through his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection. I believe the Holy Spirit was incredibly gracious to allow me to notice these symptoms before more character damage had been done.

How is your spiritual health? Whether you see obvious symptoms or not, you need regular spiritual checkups like I do. What you don’t know can hurt you. Don’t put it off. What you don’t know can hurt you! Although God’s grace is available no matter how late in the game you require it, the longer you wait the more damage will be done to your integrity and character.

Andy Knight

About the Author

Andy is the user interface designer for YouVersion, the Bible App. He has a passion for sharing God's story of grace and freedom through the internet. Andy lives in Roswell, GA, with his wife and three sons. You can follow him on Twitter at @andyknight.