“Infection Control and Standard Precautions within the Church” by A. Miller

While going through any medical course, you’ll have Standard Precautions drilled into you; “Good hand hygiene is the best defense against the spread of infection…”  This got me thinking, could this translate into the spiritual realm as well?

  •      What are some Standard Precautions:

The technical definition states: “Standard Precautions are guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for reducing the risk of transmission of blood-borne and other pathogens in hospitals. The standard precautions synthesize the major features of universal precautions (designed to reduce the risk of transmission of bloodborne pathogens) and body substance isolation (designed to reduce the risk of pathogens from moist body substances) and apply them to all patients receiving care in hospitals regardless of their diagnosis or presumed infection status. Standard precautions apply to (1) blood; (2) all body fluids, secretions, and excretions except sweat, regardless of whether or not they contain blood; (3) nonintact skin; and (4) mucous membranes. The precautions are designed to reduce the risk of transmission of microorganisms from both recognized and unrecognized sources of infection in hospitals.”  FreeDictionary.com.  To do this, we in the medical field use PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment, (ie: gloves, gowns, mask, foot protection, eye protection…)  These, along with obsessively washing your hands, should for the most part stop the spread of infection.

A healthcare provider is taught to treat every person as if they have some type of infectious disease.  But we can’t forget that those people are humans, and need to be treated with love and compassion.  The same needs to be said for the spiritually ‘infected’ as well.  When someone has a deadly infection, they will still need help/prayer/encouragement.  But there are extra precautions taken to ensure the infection doesn’t spread.

  • What are some SP we can use to prevent the spread of harmful infections within the Church?

A healthy prayer life, in my opinion, is the number one way to defend against the spread of infection in your spirit.  Becoming obsessive about your relationship with God, talking to Him and listening to Him will give you an advantage to any invasion attempt by the enemy.  When you’re hands aren’t clean, you know it.  You can feel it, see it and others can as well.  The same goes for your prayer life.  If it’s not up to par, you feel it, see the evidence of it, and others can see it too, even non-believers.

     Philippians 4:6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

While practicing SP, the nurse/physician isn’t focused on whether or not the patient has some terrible disease that could possibly kill them.  While that is in their mind, their focus is on treating the patient and helping them.  They know they have used their PPE and SP, their not anxious about anything.  They’re covered.  We need to be that way about our own lives and when handling those around us who may be battling demons that could do us harm if we try to help.  By covering ourselves in prayer and reading God’s Word, we’ve protected ourselves from anything the enemy might throw at us because “greater is He…”.

  • What is an infection inside the Church?

An infection can be anything from gossip and jealousy, to greed and lust.  Pride and dissention are common and powerful ‘infections’ that plague most churches today.  When a person has an open wound or sore, they are at a very high risk of an infection and also passing on their germs to others around them.  Now imagine a person carrying around an open spiritual wound or a sore spot on their heart.    What kind of damage can that do to those around them?  A healthy church is one without evil spirits infecting the believers.

  • So what is the purpose of infection control and Standard Precautions inside the Church?

The answer is simple and yet easily forgotten.

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”  Ephesians 6:12

Using SP and PPE when dealing with the evils of this world, we can stop the spread of it and be a more healthy Church!  Pray constantly and treat every situation as one where there’s a spiritual battle going on for a soul, and you’ll do your part to keep The Church healthy and an effective tool for Christ’s Kingdom.

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