FROM THE PULPIT: Scan your life to remove 'viruses,' keep hope

By Rev. Mark Broadhead | First Presbyterian Church of Crestview

The Internet is a tremendous asset for many people. Yet, with this great asset comes a bit of risk.

There is always the danger that some unscrupulous persons, somewhere in the world, will try to hack into your computer to do damage to the computer or to you in a financial way.

Going to certain websites can permit malware to be downloaded to your hard drive. Malware can do malicious things when you least expect it. Viruses can be snuck onto your hard drive by being buried in emails that come from shady people who try to make an email look legitimate.

This is why it is good to routinely do a full system scan of your computer looking for “stuff” that can do you harm. A scan should be done consistently because even if you feel as though you are protected, these potentially harmful bugs can still get in.

If you don’t do a scan periodically, you run the risk of your computer crashing, or your life getting hijacked.

Sometimes without our realizing it, “stuff” gets into our lives and tries to destroy us on a personal, spiritual, or emotional level.

For example, we sometimes intentionally make decisions and engage in behavior that have the potential to attack us morally and spiritually. We may not even realize it until it is too late, and recovery efforts are difficult at best.

We must be willing to routinely do a full scan of our lives to find internal spiritual dangers. They could be large and glaring, or small and hidden. 

As you go about scanning your life, admit you have made mistakes. The truth of this needs to be accepted.

As you do, you need to remember that as bad as things may have gotten in your life, there is always hope. You have the promise and assurance that in Jesus Christ, when you discover your sins, confess them, and repent of them, you will be forgiven.

I will readily admit that when I have done my own personal scans, they have not been fun at all. But recognizing my mistakes, admitting them to God, and seeking forgiveness has always been well worth it. Each time it has been like a huge, heavy burden was lifted.

Finding my shortcomings, acknowledging them to God, and confessing them sets me free from the grip they’ve had on me. I received God’s forgiveness in Jesus Christ.

What is it in your life that you need to give over to God? Is there a sense of selfishness, that everyone owes you something, or that they need to give in to your desires? Do you find yourself being self-centered, thinking the world revolves around you because of your importance?

How about pride, or arrogance, or bitterness? How about a sense of entitlement? What “virus” has crept into your life, waiting to damage you?

Do a full system scan of your life. Recognize how your behaviors or thoughts lead you away from God.

Confess them and be ready to receive his forgiveness. He will give it when you seek it with all sincerity in your heart. This will happen because of the love and grace promised through his Son, Jesus Christ.

Mark Broadhead

The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.