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Cleanliness May Make You Sneeze

The general cleanliness of modern society has brought many benefits. Most beneficial has been the decrease in the diseases that used to kill people in droves. However, medical researchers are finding a negative side to our lack of dirt. A 17-year-old theory, called hygiene hypothesis, states that the greater cleanliness common in the modern world has failed to condition the body's ability to deal with irritants. As a result, the body overreacts to allergens such as pollen and this has caused soaring rates of allergies, asthma, and some forms of autoimmune diseases, such as Type I diabetes and arthritis. In the future, we may be taught to expose ourselves to a certain level of allergens in our youth so that we might handle them better as adults. In like manner, those who never deal with lesser problems in their lives will not know how to react when real problems come. Lamentations 3:27 states, "It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth." Children need to learn to deal with responsibilities and problems while they are young so that they can handle them as adults. Psalm 55:19 tells us that those who "have no changes" tend to "fear not God." Troubles teach us to deal with trouble. The secular problem you are dealing with today may be preparing you to deal with an important spiritual challenge tomorrow. We must leave our training in the hands of a wise and benevolent God.