Spiritual Cancer


Spiritual cancer is more insidious than physical cancer. There isn’t a MRI or PET scan to diagnose it; you simply wake up and realize that things aren’t right.

A recent report for the President’s Cancer Panel says 41% of Americans will get cancer and that 21% will die from it. We know certain things make cancer more likely but nobody knows who will or who won’t get it.

But 100% of Americans will get spiritual cancer. 100%. Here are some of the symptoms:

  • self-confidence and self-righteousness (from pride) lead to a loss of His presence in our lives. We start resting on our spiritual laurels instead of surrendering (again) at the foot of the Cross.
  • quiet but pervasive focus on money, the places it can take us and things it will buy. Can include houses, cars, clothes, and vacations. The more we have, the harder it is to care about God and others. Focus on climbing and accumulating usually takes us away from Him, not toward Him.
  • drifting from regular prayer yields more anxiety, less gratitude and a decreased focus on God. Spurgeon said, “a neglected (prayer) closet is the beginning of all spiritual decline.”
  • constant distraction from our faith-walk due to busyness, especially kid’s activities. Loss of interest in church, learning or growing in Jesus.
  • unabated passion for ‘screens’ . . . texts, emails, sports, movies, TV shows, music, apps etc. No energy left for God, prayer or reflection.
  • disappointment and/or anger toward someone or something. The emotion gets hold of us and we can’t put it down . . . we struggle to forgive. The ‘wrong’ or the person who ‘wronged’ us owns us!
  • false beliefs get in our heads and grow into paralyzing roadblocks between us and our Heavenly Father. We question God, the Bible, Jesus, the whole thing. Sometimes in our efforts to understand God, we unconsciously redefine Him. We find God distant . . . almost non-existent experientially because the god we’ve made Him into isn’t the God He is.

Spiritual cancer is sneakier than physical cancer. There isn’t an MRI or a PET scan to diagnose it. We just wake up and realize things aren’t right. We’re exhausted, we have no peace, we feel disconnected from God and don’t know how to get back. We pan the camera back and look at our lives and realize there’s nothing of eternal value in our day-to day. We’ve gone 100% worldly; we never really decided to . . . it just happened. We find ourselves questioning things about God, our faith, the faith of others, our church . . . everything. We’ve just lost it. We’ve lost Him. Again quoting Spurgeon . . .

“The heart has been occupied with something else, more than with God: the affections have been set on the things of earth, instead of the things of heaven. A jealous God will not be content with a divided heart; He must be loved first and best. He will withdraw the sunshine of His presence from a cold, wandering heart.”

Does that sound like where you are? It sure described me a couple of weeks ago. But thankfully, I’ve been undergoing ‘spiritual chemotherapy’ and I’m on my way back.

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