I caught a cold. I haven’t been down with a cold for a while, the sneezing the sniffing, the headaches and the blocked nose…
I was upset that I caught a cold in the middle of a heat wave. I had survived the cold harmattan season with all the dust flying around; I stood in the midst of people sneezing around me. I conquered the cold, dry, dusty weather. I conquered the rains before then. So yes, I was upset that in the midst of what must be a clone of hell on earth, I found myself with a bout of cold.
The heat was stiffing. Humid, hot… the perfect weather to let loose and take off your clothes at any given opportunity.
So, I got thinking…. How come I easily caught a cold in the midst of the horrible heat and I’ve been able to scale through the cold and dusty weather scot-free? You see, when I’m in the cold, I know its cold, and so I protect myself accordingly. I don’t go round in tank tops if it’s snowing, or sleep in just underwear in the harmathan. There are duvets, and there are jumpers and sweatshirts… there are onesies and hot cups of tea and hot water baths to warm me up. I’ve got the cold covered.
But in the heat, my guards are down. It’s so hot I do the only thing I think to do… run into an air-conditioned room whenever I find one. Wear tank tops and shorts as often as I can. Sit in front of the fan with barely anything on, taking cold baths… and when I drink ice cold water, for relieve I let a some trickle down my throat to my chest. I chew on ice when I find any and just don’t take precautions because it’s hot, and all I care about is cooling myself off. In the mist of that carelessness, I expose my chest and body to the elements, cold water drying off on my body etc and there you go, an opportunity to catch a cold.
Expose yourself, catch a cold, cover yourself up, and avoid a cold.
Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. Prov4: 23
It’s the same way we tend to be on guard when in the world as Christians. We cover up real good like its winter or the rainy season, lest we expose ourselves and catch a cold or get hurt. We’re extra careful in business deals, relationships and dealings with unbelievers and we’re on guard. Then we get into church where its summer… and we expose ourselves to get cooled off. We’re no more on guard; our guards are completely let down… and suddenly we catch a cold and we wonder.
Guarding your heart shouldn’t stop outside the church. You should guard your heart even when you do business with fellow Christians in church… I’ve heard stories of being burnt. Don’t be completely exposed, people are taken most advantage of in the church.
I’m usual on guard whenever I get to hang out with that ‘unbeliever’ friend who is perfect, so I don’t fall for him because that’s setting myself up for something complicated, I’m guarded and I know there’s a barricade even as I laugh at his jokes and enjoy his company. It shouldn’t be any different when I hang out with a born again friend. Because even if there’s a chance that my laugh at his joke could turn into my heart skipping beats, I should be cautious about it, I shouldn’t fall blindly in love without knowing him well.
Guard your heart when you’re dating a guy/girl in church. You just let go riding on the waves of brotherhood/sisterhood in church and then get hurt and burnt because no guards were up and without warning, you’ve been marauded. Because he’s a Christian, you immediately trust him with all your heart and then he hurts you or somehow you find yourself pregnant and abandoned (it happens) The church is where a lot of sick/troubled/human people come to for healing, everyone is being perfected, so love them, fellowship with them, cautiously trust them… but act with wisdom. Don’t just date him because he heads a department in church, or date her cause she’s in the choir. The other day I had a talk with a friend and I just didn’t have the heart to tell him things about a church girl he’s in love with and trusts completely. I’d rather he finds out himself. I don’t think he allowed things to cook well i.e getting to know each other well before jumping on the love boat and letting his heart run loose around her. He’s about to catch a major cold, because he assumed it was summer in church and exposed himself.
I’ve heard of business deals going sour with fellow church members cheating themselves and having messy fights. Employees disappointed at shoddy work ethics of Christian employees he employed based on trust and church membership.
Some messages being preached need to be guarded against as well. Honor your pastor, but don’t go out there to just any church ready to eat whatever is cooking on the pulpit without having a well guarded heart, guarded enough to make you think after a sermon and study the word for yourself, not hook line and stinker… then you find yourself lost and confused. Let him guide you, but be on guard as well. Some pastors have turned their congregation to a cult followership…. They’ll eat grass if he says so. Which is so unfortunate.
What’s my message here? Just guard your heart at all times, pray for wisdom and the spirit of discernment, you’ll avoid making half the mistakes we do if we’re on guard.