When I was about five years old, I contracted scarlet fever. I remember being delirious and feeling horrible. My mother told me I was one very sick little girl and there was not much she could do for me but keep me isolated from the rest of the family, give me penicillin, and allow it to run its course. Scarlet fever was considered extremely dangerous and was known to leave people with heart trouble. In fact, I have a minor heart murmur, a permanent reminder of that illness.
Back then, if someone had scarlet fever, the household was quarantined and the family had to take penicillin to keep from getting it. Penicillin was new at the time. While it helped to make me better, unbeknownst to us, my father was allergic to it and broke out in hives and got very ill. I am told he could have died. I remember it being a scary time in our household.
Scarlet fever is a form of strep. An untreated person is contagious for several weeks after contracting it. It is transmitted via body fluids. Glasses, doorknobs, towels and just any place where fluids are left turn into an incubator for the contaminates.
Just like the scarlet fever bacteria, our thoughts are small unseen things that can cause havoc in our lives. Nobody can see or hear them, but they grow and thrive inside us and are a barometer for our soul. Once our thoughts have firmly established themselves, they begin to show symptoms in the way we act, the things we do or the words we say. These actions can be contagious and can be easily transmitted to others who can also become infected with those same thoughts and perhaps pass it on to others. Sometimes we can be left with scars – permanent reminders of our sins and immoral thoughts.
Because negative or immoral thoughts can produce sin and harmful behaviors in our physical bodies, and can impact others who may be tainted or hurt by our actions and possibly encourage them to reproduce the same sin or behavior, it is important to protect our minds from those things than can corrupt us. We can do this by rejecting negative or sinful thoughts and replace them with good, pure and moral ones. To do this, we must make sure to be careful what goes into our minds from what we listen to, watch and read. We also need to choose where we go and with whom we spend time carefully so that we can avoid slipping into a harmful relationship or risky behavior.
The Book of Proverbs 23:7 warn us that for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. Ralph Waldo Emerson also said,” a man is what he thinks about all day long”. It is incredible that something we cannot see can influence us so greatly. Yet, the LORD looks at our thoughts and our minds. It is where we exhibit our true self. We may be able to hide it from others, but not from Him. Our faith and reliance on the LORD is the antibiotic that can restore our soul.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7