Finishing The Whole Prescription
By: Kristen L. McNulty
Last weekend I had to go to the ER and the doctor prescribed some antibiotics along with the very strict order to finish the whole prescription even if I started to feel better. The pharmacist gave me the same instructions after handing me the bottle. We hear this about antibiotics all the time and it's because many people forget about taking their medication as soon as their symptoms go away and the results can be quite serious.
You were given that dosage because that's what it takes to completely kill off the bacteria that caused the infection. If that bacteria is not killed off completely, it can come back in the same place or somewhere else, or even more scary is that then the bacteria might be resistant to antibiotics, making it very difficult to kill.
I don't just share this story to let you know the importance of following the directions that your doctor gives you, but I share it also because it's a good illustration of the trap that many of us fall into after becoming Christians. We say the sinners prayer, invite Jesus in to cleanse our hearts from sin and we pray and study our bibles like we're told to. But then somewhere along the way we don't finish the prescription. We start skipping church. We let our bibles collect dust. And we forget all about spending time in prayer. Then we are surprised when we find ourselves weighed down in sin and losing the battle.
Sin is like a bacteria that will multiply anywhere it can. And if we're not careful, just like an infection it can come in and spread like crazy until we're consumed and in terrible spiritual health. But it doesn't need to be that way. The Bible is very clear that we can stand against sin, but it does involve a prescription. Let's turn over to Ephesians to hear what God tells us to do, not once, but every day:
"Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil... Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the sheild of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:10,11,14-17)
Just like no soldier gets sent into battle without a weapon, God hasn't sent us back into the world as believers without things to help us fight against sin and temptation. But we need to keep doing what he says. Otherwise we are going to be just like those people who stop taking their medication as soon as they feel better and find themselves even sicker than before.
Reprint rights available on request. Email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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