Cancer of Our Souls
I was thinking today of a friend of mine who has been battling skin cancer. This person had a spot removed and thought everything was okay. Later the spot came back and after seeing the dermatologist again, it was revealed that it had not been removed completely. Now my friend is facing another procedure to remove the cancer, which has likely caused a bigger growth. The dermatologist will remove the spot and then investigate below the surface, removing all of the damaged cells until the entire cancer is removed. My friend will likely have a large section cut out and will probably need plastic surgery to reconstruct parts of the area. As I thought about this, I realized a hard truth – many of us are walking around with cancers growing in our souls. You might ask “Michelle, what are you talking about?” We need to take a good look at ourselves in this season of Thanksgiving. Sometimes we can allow things to take root in our souls that become cancers and begin to eat away at the good fruit we have. It’s so easy sometimes to allow a root of bitterness to grow. Maybe it starts out very small. Someone says something about a loved one or does something against them. That act on their part causes our spirit to bristle like the hair on the back of dog that senses trouble. Maybe someone has done something against us – cheated us, cheated on us, spread rumors about us, stabbed us in the back, or hurt us very deeply – and we just can’t seem to get past it. That’s called harboring unforgiveness. If we allow bitterness or unforgiveness to grow in our souls, it will become like a fast-growing cancer and eat away at the good cells – the fruit of the Spirit that we have been cultivating. Maybe we have allowed sin to enter our life and are hiding it from those we love – addictions, adultery, gossip, lust, idolatry. These sins will grow bigger and eventually will root out the beautiful fruit that was grown as a result of abiding in the vine. Maybe you have listened to the voice of the enemy when he suggested someone else has a better and bigger life than you and God has shown them favor but not you. This, my friend, is the bug of comparison, the thief of joy as Teddy Roosevelt said, and will lead you down a path of jealousy, envy and strife. When we continually compare ourselves to others, we negate God’s blessings in our own life and our fruitfulness suffers. When we allow these sins and cancers of our soul to grow, they invade our lives until God has to take drastic measures to clean them out. When we finally take notice and come to Him in repentance, it will require Him to cut deep into our lives and souls to clean out the festered mess, and sometimes it will leave some pretty big scars. The good news is that no matter how much God has to cut on us to clean us out, His grace and mercy is enough to bring healing to our souls. Those scars become fertile ground for the fruit of the Spirit to then manifest itself. Our souls heal and the deep crevices of sin become trenches that God’s love fills. If you realize today that you have allowed these cancers to infiltrate your soul, take a moment to ask God for forgiveness. Ask Him to purify your heart and cleanse you from that unrighteousness. He’s faithful and just and will dig up and dig out the cancers; He will clean you up and put you on the path to healing and recovery, all the while preparing you for a life of fruitfulness!
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God: lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Psalm 51:1-2 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
James 3:16-18 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
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