DIVER’S DISEASES


 
Matthew, Mark and Luke each record the incident relating to the fact that Jesus healed many people of divers diseases.   Luke probably speaks for all when he says, “Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto Him; and He laid hands on every one of them, and healed them.” (Luke 4:40)
 
Sickness and disease are as varied as the people themselves.   While there is a similarity in illness, the effects are invariably different.   Divers diseases could mean almost anything for it includes everything.   There’s another manifestation of Divers diseases prevalent in our modern age.   It too, has many forms and an almost endless variety of symptoms.   Sometimes it even reaches epidemic proportions and unless something is done to counteract it, the results can be very tragic.
 
One of the earliest symptoms of a diver’s disease is seen among people who always dive for the back pew in church.   This makes it embarrassing for families with small children and parents with babies who are forced to go nearer the front.   It also creates a difficulty for the ushers when late comers arrive and have to be escorted to the front after the service has begun.   While this disease can usually be cured with a little courteous persuasion from the ushers, sometimes complications set in and it develops into a much more serious disease.   Youthful back seat divers often develop “figititis” which has been known to cause some to dive into backsliding.   There’s no absolutely certain cure for this malady.
 
Further evidence of a diver’s disease is apparent when the offering plate is passed and people dive to the bottom of their pockets to find the nickels and pennies.   This is called “deep-pocket diving” and is considered to be extremely dangerous because it can spread into deadly covetousness, which the Bible classes as idolatry.   Those who dive for as little as possible, testify to their low estimate of the worth of the gospel.   Your giving is a Bible yardstick measuring your love.  (2 Cor. 8:8)   The best known cure is to dive into the ocean of God’s mercy and love.   Then, rub yourself vigorously with the towel of gratitude.   Take a big dose of thanksgiving and compassion mixed in equal parts.   Don’t sleep on a mattress stuffed with selfishness.   Replace it at once with one filled with stewardship, and take daily exercise working in God’s vineyard.   The remedy has never failed to cure the average patient.
 
Another form of diver’s disease is very distressing in the church service.   It begins with quick glances in the direction of the clock and spreads to calculated looks at the exits.   These people close their hymn books before the last hymn is finished and then dive for their coats.   As soon as the benediction is pronounced they dive for the door.   These people miss a lot of the warmth and the fellowship at the close of the service.   The message must always be the most important part of a meeting, but the smiles and the hearty handshakes together with a word of encouragement also add much to a church gathering.   Sometimes little children get restless, but there’s a simple cure for these divers.   Try to get someone to take care of the children while the service is in progress and the few extra moments of closing will be the most treasured of all in a short time.
 
Some divers are not sick, but they have extremely bad manners.   Just as soon as the minister begins to speak, some will dive for the ear of a neighbor and whisper into it.   This usually distracts the attention of everyone nearby.   Little snickers and giggles often accompany this diving, much to the dismay of all affected by it.   Diving into hymn books can hurt the effectiveness of the message too.
 
While many forms of divers diseases may be seen in church, by no means all are found there.   Some people make a dive for their car on Sunday morning and go fishing or hunting.   They often dive for the highways and end up in some park or by some stream with their family and thus miss the inspiration and encouragement of the church.   This particular form of the disease may afflict people of all ages from youth to old age.   It is highly contagious and usually one suffering from it, is unaware of the seriousness of the malady for the common explanation is the: “I can worship God just as well out of doors as in church.”   This is like the drunkards who say, I can take a drink or I can leave it alone.”   Maybe they can.   Seldom if ever they do.   It is best not to get too close to those who have this disease.   They may be carriers.   A settled disciplined habit of attending church will be all that is necessary to get rid of the disease. 
 
Diver’s diseases are almost endless.  Some people dive for the TV on Sunday evening because they’re following some serial instead of attending church.   Others dive for the Sunday paper or bury themselves in a lurid magazine, running the risk of pollution of the mind.   It is like diving in a pool where the water is impure because of sewage.   Mental sewage is just as virulent to the soul and will destroy every fiber of good intentions unless it is ruthlessly destroyed.  “Keep thy self pure,” was Paul’s exhortation to Timothy.   Purity does not just happen.   You must KEEP yourself so.   This can only be done by avoiding that which is corrupt, foul and contaminating on the one hand, and by cultivating that which is honorable and associated with godliness.
 
When Sunday comes around, some people dive for the golf clubs…and “head for the greens.”   Others dive for the bed and take a long sleep.   Some dive for the shop or the field where they spend the day, either getting ready for tomorrow or catching up on some unfinished task.   There are those who dive for the books and make up their accounts while still others dive for the kitchen and fix the biggest dinner of the week.
 
The remedies for divers’ diseases may be as varied as the divers themselves, but one cure will be almost universally effective and that is to wake up Sunday morning, get dressed and eat a good breakfast and then dive for church.   Life is mostly made up of habits…so, if you form the right ones, you’ll be immune to the wrong kind.
   

 

 

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