Monday, October 14, 2013

Inactive Ingredients

What is the purpose of inactive ingredients? The FDA description of an inactive ingredient is any component of a drug product other than the active ingredient. Well, that’s helpful. I found two other descriptions: 1) inactive ingredients are substances that are not intended to treat symptoms of a health condition including colors, flavors, preservatives, and materials that bind a pill together; and 2) inactive ingredients are used to take the active ingredient to a site in the body where it will be most effective.
       This last definition gives more purpose. Inactive ingredients can be used to control how, where, and when certain medicines are released in the body to achieve maximum benefit. So while they are considered inactive, they are still active. Others are only used for flavoring and color, but sometimes these inactive ingredients are more dangerous than the active. 
       I am allergic to a red dye called carmine. I can’t take certain medications because they are colored with this inactive ingredient. It’s not an allergy to the active, but the inactive. If I take a medication containing carmine, I have an anaphylactic reaction. Most pharmacies and doctors are concerned with drug allergies, but they don’t focus on the inactive ingredient allergies. I have to be aware and take on this responsibility for myself.
       We all have inactive ingredients in our lives. Some are useful and some are only for show. The active ingredient in our life is Jesus Christ. He is manifested in our lives by the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. This active ingredient brings healing to a world sick with sin. The inactive ingredients would be gifts that we develop to carry this message of faith.
       We are also each unique with our own set of other inactive ingredients. I see a tendency to become more concerned with the inactive, which causes us to hinder the working of the active.
       Are you overly concerned with the inactive ingredients in the family of God? Maybe it’s time to read our labels and determine which inactive ingredients are just for show and which ones actually carry the message of Christ where it needs to go. Maybe it’s time to be aware and take on the responsibility for our own inactive ingredients and not those of others.
       Which inactive ingredients in your life help spread the gospel, and which ones hinder it?

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