You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. – Jesus
The zombies are not just in Sardis, but apparently Ephesus has been affected as well. Based on the information from that location here are a few more warning signs that you may be a zombie. Be sure to examine yourself. If you are new to the land of the undead you may want to check out these signs before progressing any further.
- Mindless Wandering
Zombies are known for their mindless lumbering through the streets and lands seeking their next victim. They have no direction in life except to satisfy their own passions and desires for brains. As they wander about there is no consideration or compassion for others. There clearly is an outbreak in Ephesus according to this report from Paul (Eph 4:18-19).
They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity
If you are into mindless wandering you are likely to exhibit this other sign.
- Craving things which harm others
We are called to love one another and serve one another. However, zombies take this passage a little to literal – loving to eat others and serve them to other zombies during meal time. Zombies have an insatiable craving and desire for brains. And Paul warns us to beware of being caught up in a zombie feeding frenzy (Gal 5:15):
But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
Not a pretty sight! And let’s face it eating the brain is not something that is helpful, edifying, or focusing on the needs of that person. Yet neither is adultery, stealing, or coveting (Rom 13:9).
“You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
And giving into to these temptations and cravings is a sure sign you are a zombie. As Paul warned Timothy in Ephesus (1 Tim 5:6), before breaking Zombie Land Rule #29 the Buddy System and leaving him behind:
But [the one] who lives for pleasure is dead even while [they] live.
If we want to avoid being a zombie (or just avoid becoming part of a zombie happy meal) we must remember Zombie Land Rule #7 Travel Light and the unofficial yet related rule No Attachments. As in no attachments to the things of this world and being content. It is the coveting of all those things that we think will give us happiness that can weigh us down and devour and consume us. Paul reminds Timothy that unhealthy craving for controversy and wealth among other harmful desires are the root of poor choices that lead to ruin and and loss of faith (1 Tim 6).
- Hard to Kill
Zombies are notoriously hard to kill. They may be slow and mindless but they are tough. You can cut off their hands, tear off their feet, and pluck out eyes, but they just keep coming.They are relentless in their pursuit of what gives them pleasure. Jesus also reminded us about how hard it was to stop craving the things that tempt us and harm others (Matt 18:8-9; 5:27-30):
And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire. – Jesus
Whether it is brains or something else that tempts you to sin, these cravings can be just as hard to kill as a zombie. You can start hacking away but it will not stop you from desiring those things. The only thing you will manage to do is become a blind, one handed sinner with a limp. There is no point in cutting off extremities when only a blow to the head will work.
We need to take Zombie Land Rule #2 double-tap to heart. The first shot to the head is so we stop being undead. We might look like we are alive, but we are dead without Jesus (Eph 2:4-5):
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved
While being made alive is all about what Christ has done, it can’t stop us from living like zombies unless we take that second head shot (Eph 4:17; 5:2).
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.
[But] walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
We need to be following Jesus so that we can be transformed in our minds and filled with His Spirit. There will be little lasting change without these.
What other signs may indicate we are becoming a zombie?