Yesterday I received a broadcast mesage warning me against HIV infected blood that has been injected into bananas. The people who supposedly injected this infected blood into the bananas are out to kill millions of people. The report goes says that “if your fruit has a red weird colour in it” you must know that it has been infected by HIV blood. Its concludes by making the statement “That is satanism.” I totally agree that it is satanism. Wait! Hear me out, don’t stop reading, I’m going to make a point.
How many of these messages have you received? How many prayer requests have you received on behalf of missionaries who are about to be beheaded by extremist Buddhists in India? Seriously? I’ve always thought that Buddhists were peaceful people. And what about the messages about the poor little girl/boy who has cancer and will receive 1 dollar for every time the message is shared? I normally go to the internet and rsearch these messages and 99% of hem are recorded as being hoaxes. What is the purpose of these messages? I would say mainly to spread fear. When I think that I could be eating infected fruit I’m going to be fearful of buying fruit that could harm me or my family. Maybe I shouldn’t buy fruit from street vendors or maybe I should stop eating fruit altogether. What if they also do it to other fruit and not just bananas? What if I’ve already inadvertently eaten fruit which is contaminated? People have all these fearful ideas racing through their heads, and fear paralyzes. Now they can’t do their work properly and their reltionships are eventually affected because of the fear.
Just consider this; Fear is very seldom the spine chilling, nail biting thing that you see in horror movies. Everyday “innocent” fear is way more subtle than that. Fear is that little niggling thought or seed that has been planted in the back of your mind that keeps eating away at you. Let me bare my soul and tell you a story that will illustrate what I mean.
In 1970 I was in second grade at school. In those days in South Africa it was called Sub B. I was a very good reader. My mom had made sure of that and she spent long hours making sure we knew how to read. Its a wonderful legacy as I still love reading. I was in Mrs le Roux’s class. We had a dual medium school and I was in the English class. There were 4 grades in our class – Sub A to Standard 2 – with about 20 children in the whole class. I think there were 7 children in our grade. We were standing around Mrs le Roux’s table with our reading books and taking turns to read a piece. I was probably bored because I used to red through the whole reading book on the day I received it. Suddenly she shouted, “Alex, look in your book! Stop looking at your big, fat, tummy!” From that day I concentrated on pulling in my tummy so that nobody would know that I had a “big, fat, tummy”. For the next 40 years the words that she said on that day eat away at my self esteem and eroded my confidence. I had long forgotten the incident but the consequences were still there. I often felt that I wasn’t good enough but I couldn’t understand why I felt that way.
One morning at about 3 o’clock, I woke up and went to my sitting room. I sat on the sofa and wrapped in a blanket cried out to God and asked Him what the matter was. Why did I feel this way? There was no logical reason. I was educated and capable yet I was feeling like I lacked something. The Holy Spirit gently guided me back to that classroom where I had been standing 40 years before and replayed everything that had happened. At once I understood that I had accepted the words that had been spoken. I had accepted that I had a big, fat, tummy – even though it had been a lie. As I sat on that sofa with tears streaming down my face, Jesus assured me that I was worthy because He had made me. I felt warm and loved and good enough. It was something I will never forget and it was real and so very personal. I have forgiven Mrs le Roux, she was just doing the best she could in that sitution. Nobody is perfect.
Do you see how a small grain of fear, even if it isn’t meant seriously or maliciously can damage someone? That is why I say that these messages are satanism. The devil wants you to be fearful and have all kinds of hang-ups that are going to keep you from being a whole person. 2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Let us use our sound minds to spread love, and let us use the power God has given us to touch thos around us in a positive way and not use words that will hurt.