Is Sickness the Result of Sin?

We’ve all run into our fair share of loony-tune type wackos out there, when it comes to the prosperity / health / happy-go-lucky doctrines. One thing I’ve been working through here is finding the truth in their teachings, without the obvious erroneous extremes to which they’ve flown. I met a man one time who told me that if Christians were sick, it was because of 2 reasons: 1. They were in sin, and therefore out of God’s protection; or 2. They didn’t have enough faith to be well.
This sent my head reeling, as I’m sure yours is after having read that. (Coincidentally, if your head is not reeling, you may, in fact, be a loony-tune wacko) My retort was instant, “What about Paul? He suffered from a physical problem throughout his ministry, despite praying God take it away, and even had to travel with a physician to care for him.”
“Paul obviously didn’t have enough faith to be well.” (He also informed me that Peter, and others who were martyred didn’t have enough faith to live)
I watched his face silently to see if he was having a laugh at my expense, but I saw no such indication. I excused myself shortly thereafter, and saw this same man walking home the next day because he had run out of gas, while driving to town on an empty tank, believing that God would keep it full, like the widow’s jar of oil. It was difficult not to mock him, but instead I just pretended like I didn’t see him and kept driving
Obviously we bring sickness on ourselves many, if not most, of the time. Our lifestyles, even years earlier in life, lead to health problems. Lack of exercise, junk food, etc wreak havoc on our bodies, and this doesn’t even take into account worse things. So…does sin cause sickness? Of course it does, many times. Who can look at an alcoholic and not realize that his sin caused his liver disease? We reap what we sow…even after being saved, however I believe God often alleviates much of this burden for his children. If you lead a wild and promiscuous life as a young person, it’s not unthinkable to believe that you may have physical problems as a result of that later on in life. We also live in a world under the curse of sin, and that is why we have sickness to begin with. So, in some way, we can say all sickness did originate because of sin.
This is, however, a far cry from saying that personal sin makes people sick, as a rule. We are a part of this world, and subject to its curse. I believe in healing, I’ve seen many people healed of all manner of diseases. But why isn’t everyone healed? I don’t know. God has a plan in all things. Perhaps it is because of lack of faith, although I typically don’t believe that is the main reason. Job suffered from sickness and tragedy like no other that I know of. Yet he was a righteous man in every way, and still put all his trust in God. From his (and his friends) Point of View, there was no reason at all for him to go through all of that. He easily could’ve gotten mad at God, saying, “Haven’t I served you? Haven’t I lived righteously for you? And what has it gotten me?!” But while he did ultimately trust God for restoration, and to work his will, he didn’t have the haughtiness of my acquaintance with the empty gas tank. He quietly accepted what God had for him, and stayed true to his faith in God through it all.
Ultimately, this life is a journey…a trying ground. How we respond and react to adversity of any sort shows God who we are, and how devoted to him we are…it also shows Satan and the lost around us the same thing. So…why do the righteous suffer? Why do Christians get sick? Lack of faith? I think not. To prove faith, is what I think.

Leave a Reply