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What If Our Faith Was As Contagious As A Yawn

Do you ever wonder why when someone yawns, you end up yawning as well?  Or sometimes, even just talking about yawning can elicit a response yawn.

An excerpt from the following article Why is Yawning So Contagious from shares some interesting thoughts about contagious yawning.

"While you may yawn when you are by yourself, yawning is often a social behavior. You have probably noticed that when a coworker yawns at the office, you are suddenly doing the same. People are prone to contagious yawning because of our sense of empathy, or the ability to relate to others emotionally. Interestingly, individuals with schizophrenia or autism tend to be less affected by this response, since these conditions are characterized by a lack of empathy.

When strangers yawn – Since yawning developed as a system to keep the body alert, it is not surprising that it is a social activity. Since people are social creatures working in groups, yawning evolved as a way to ensure pack alertness when danger may be near. Stress and anxiety can raise the body temperature and cue a cooling yawn, which others will observe and copy unwittingly. This behavior still exists, though it is not always observed among strangers.

When friends yawn – You are actually more likely to yawn contagiously when you are around friends or family members. The deeper emotional or genetic connections you have with those close to you will make you more prone to copying their behaviors—especially those that have developed through a pack mentality.

I started pondering yawning one day as I was driving back from the eye doctor.  I was in my car at a stop sign waiting to turn right as a girl drove by who was in the middle of a big yawn.   I then suddenly found myself yawning.  I thought it odd that a complete stranger, just driving by yawning, could prompt me to yawn.  It amused me that she had no idea that the lady she passed by in the red SUV at the stop sign was now yawning because of her.  lol.

But what if our life of Faith in Jesus Christ could have that same contagious effect on those we come in contact with, whether strangers passing by or those we are in relationship with.

I believe the story of King Darius, Daniel and the Lion's Den can shed some light on contagious faith.

For context I have provided those Scripture verses below:

It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, 2 with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. 3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. 5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”

6 So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! 7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. 8 Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” 9 So King Darius put the decree in writing.

10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”

The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”

13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.

15 Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”

16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.

19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

25 Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth:

“May you prosper greatly!

26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.

“For he is the living God
    and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
    his dominion will never end.
27 He rescues and he saves;
    he performs signs and wonders
    in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
    from the power of the lions.”

28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus[b] the Persian.

Daniel 6

I've read or heard this account of Daniel in the Lion's Den many, many times. But recently, having read it again, I found myself pondering the faith of King Darius... 

King Darius was approached by his administrators and satraps to enact a decree which required that anyone who prayed to any God or human being "for the next 30 days", except to the King himself, would be thrown into the Lion's Den. 

Despite the edict, Daniel had continued to offer up prayers to God three times a day.  The other administrators and satraps reported Daniel to King Darius.

King Darius was now in the difficult position of abiding by his own decree ordering Daniel, the very Satrap he had planned on setting over his entire Kingdom, to be thrown into the Lion's Den.

King Darius was incredibly grieved by this.  Even though he felt he had no choice but to throw Daniel in the Lion's Den, I believe King Darius showed incredible faith by trusting Daniel's God to rescue Daniel from the lions, despite what I'm sure seemed a great impossibility.

Over and over, King Darius kept referring to Daniel as a person who served his God continually.  Clearly Daniel's faith had made quite an impact on King Darius.  So much so that he believed Daniel's God could do the impossible by rescuing Daniel from the lions in the Lion's Den.

The next morning King Darius was overjoyed to see that Daniel's God had rescued him from the Lion's Den.  

As a result, King Darius decreed an incredible Statement of Faith for all the kingdom to follow:

“For he is the living God
    and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
    his dominion will never end.
 He rescues and he saves;
    he performs signs and wonders
    in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
    from the power of the lions.”

King Darius publicly acknowledges that God is the living God who endures forever.  Daniel's God had now become King Darius' God.

Can it be said of us what was said of Daniel?...

Karen, who continually serves her God

{Insert name}, who continually serves her God

How do we continually serve our great God?

By first and foremost knowing who our God is!  

Our God is All knowing, All Powerful, Ever Present, Loving and Unchanging.  

Our faith is built on the very attributes of God!  

When we conduct every aspect of our lives in the knowledge of who God is, our faith WILL be contagious and will testify that we continually serve our God to bring Glory to His Name...

When facing all manner of trials - Others will see in us that God is All Knowing and Ever Present.

When we are weak - Others will see in us that God is All Powerful.

When we are facing uncertainty - Others will see in us that God is All Knowing and Unchanging.

And when we continually walk in the Forgiveness, Freedom and Joy of the Lord - Others will see in us that God is Loving.

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, 
have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,
 in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Romans 1:20

God created us in His image to know Him.  We are all born with an innate pack-like quality to come into communion with the Father and His children.   Like a pack of coyotes calling in the fields at night to signal their location to other pack members, believers send out signals to those who are called, of the Hope that lies within them through evidences of their strong faith Similar to the contagiousness of a yawn, whether a stranger passing by or a close friend or acquaintance, testimonies of our Faith will create a desire in the called  to answer that call and give their lives to Christ.

You might find me on these link-ups:
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  1. What a wonderful thought, sweet friend! Oh, for that kind of experience with our Lord that will automatically overflow into the lives of others and instill a desire for God! The story of Daniel never ceases to challenge and amaze me. I am so thankful God allowed the accounts of these Old Testament faithful saints to be recorded for us to look back to and learn from. Thank you ever so much for sharing this powerful message that God laid upon your heart. Sending you much love and gratitude for the wonderful blessing you are to me and to everyone here in blogland!

    1. Thank you Cheryl! :-)

      And thank you for sharing how these wonderful stories from the Bible have impacted you.

      You are so welcome!

      Thank you sweet friend. Your words always encourage my heart!

      With much love and appreciation, blessings to you and your family.

  2. What a beautiful post. I like how you used the example of something natural and involuntary as a yawn to demonstrate how God's love should flow from us.
    I found you on Literacy Musing Mondays #LMMlinkup.
    Beckie from Spotlight,

    1. Beckie, Thank you so much!

      I'm so glad you stopped by! :-)

  3. I'm your neighbor over at #TellHisStory, and I'm so glad I stopped by here! I love these thoughts about Daniel's contagious faith. And I especially loved the way that you emphasized the Attributes of God by contrasting them with our weaknesses: truly HE is strong, when we give our little over to Him! Thank you for these precious truths today. --Blessings!

    1. Bettie, And I'm glad you did! :-) You have blessed and encouraged me.

      Blessings to you.

  4. Such a good analogy! Praying this morning for our lives to be filled with a contagious faith in Christ! Grateful to have been neighbors at Testimony Tuesday. I think this is my first time here so, "Nice to meet you!" Blessings!

    1. Joanne, Praise God for His leading as I wrote. :-)


      I am so glad you were my neighbor! I very much appreciated your kind words, and I'm so glad I met you!

      Blessings to you too.

  5. Daniel is one of my most favorite people in the Bible. I love how you used his example from this familiar story to connect it to living with contagious faith. Blessings to you and thanks for the post!

    1. Karen, Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate them very much!

      You are very welcome!

      Blessings to you too!

  6. Thanks for this great reminder. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on!

    1. Tina, You are welcome! The Lord brought to my mind and He helped me to share it. :-)

      I enjoy the fellowship at Booknificent Thursday. :-)

  7. What a great, catchy title first of all, and love your indepth writing!

    1. Crystal, Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. They mean so much to me!

      You have blessed me! :-)


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