I’ve had a virus the last two weeks. No I’m not talking about the reason why I keep clearing my throat. It’s a computer thing. Have you ever had a virus? I’ll be honest, I felt a bit violated. A computer virus is not a simple freak of nature, unaware that it’s hurting someone, simply intent on living. A computer virus is an intentional attempt by someone to do you harm, to steal value from you, to use you for it’s own purposes against your will, to gain at your expense. Someone wrote it for you. In the hopes that you would get it.
My particular virus was the nasty alureon.h virus. It comes with all sorts of descriptors — rogue software, malacious malware, browser hijacking, trojan, back-door, and illegitimate advertising. It took over my communications and blocked me from websites that held the solution to my problem. It was impervious to my normal spyware, antivirus protection. They could see it, just couldn’t fix it. Worse of all — it was a rootkit, which means it gave it’s maker privileged access to my computer.
I googled and downloaded and tried various solutions, until finally I kaspersky-ed it. I think I’m clean.
So what’s the point? It reminds me of sin.
I think we tend to think of sin as something like a cold. You catch it, can’t help it, not really you’re fault, have to wait it out. You didn’t go looking for it and nobody tried to give it to you. It just happens sometimes.
But I think sin is perhaps a bit more like a computer virus. Someone created it. They want you to get it. They hope that when you get it, they can benefit at your expense. It can be hard to get rid of it, even though you know it’s there, but you better not leave it there because as long as you have it, the creator of it, has privileged access to your heart. Sometimes it takes time. Sometimes sin is more than just a surface annoyance redirecting your eyes to useless websites, sometimes it gets into your very registry affecting the way you start up. You need someone who knows what’s in there to take out what doesn’t belong.
But the good news is — it can be done. The tools are things like confession, prayer, communion, the Holy Spirit, the Word, the cross of Christ and people.
If you know you have a virus, dig it out and don’t stop till you know it’s gone. It doesn’t take 50 viruses to wreak havoc on your computer. It’s the same with sin.