Our world is full of things that spread. There are viral infections that can kill you like Ebola or the Avian Flu or non-life threatening but very uncomfortable stomach flu and common colds. But infectious diseases are not the only things that spread. Take yawns for example. Have you ever tried not to yawn after someone in the room just did? Smiles are that way too, and so are frowns. Attitudes are also incredibly contagious, one buoyant optimist can lift the environment of an entire room.
Ideas are contagious too. Recently, the movie Inception capitalized on the concept that it might be possible to plant an idea deep in someone’s mind by entering into their dreams. By doing so, that idea would change the entire way that person viewed the world and consequently the way they lived their life.
You have undoubtedly had the experience of having someone share an idea with you that flipped your whole perspective. Perhaps someone pointed out the shortcomings of your car and suddenly, your royal chariot was transformed into a despised beater. Or that relationship you thought was on solid ground, suddenly is called into question because a friend shares their suspicions that things might not be as good as they seem.
Ideas have the power to change everything. People will give their life for an idea if they believe it is worth it. Ideas about what happens after we die may be the most powerful of all. The idea that there is an afterlife and the way we live our life today affects what happens after we pass into the great beyond, has the power to influence the actions of entire nations. Civilizations have gone to war, and still do today, over the idea that their actions echo into eternity.
What do you believe about eternity? Jesus had quite a bit to say about it. He made it clear that the decisions made on this side of the equals sign had a direct impact on the nature of what was on the other side of the sign. And because this idea was so powerful, the twelve men He left behind to carry His message gave their lives to do just that.
Philip was tortured and crucified. Matthew was beheaded. Peter was crucified hanging upside down. Andrew was hanged. Thomas was burned alive. The list goes on. All of these men lived and died in a manner that demonstrated their deep belief in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This idea was so powerful that it didn’t stop with them but continues to transform the lives of millions.
What ideas govern your life and are impacting those around you? Are you spreading love, patience and kindness or fear, jealousy and anger? Are you living with purpose and destiny, looking forward to the future, or with pettiness and selfishness, looking only at the moment. What are you spreading today?