The Lord has put His Church in a very unique position right now. With the continuing spread of the novel Coronavirus (and the disease that it causes: Covid-19) the Lord has given us a great opportunity to reflect His glory in a unique and powerful way to a world that is often given to panicking and selfishness. Yes, it may be all too easy for us to give in to fear, and we may be tempted to focus on our own concerns to the exclusion of others, but we have been called to live by faith and to walk in love.
But how do we do this? How can we be the Christ-centered church that the world needs and that God delights in? How do we fight for and show real trust in God that results in wise and loving actions for each other and those around us? Here are some ideas:
- Do what you should to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Notice, we did not say do all that you can. You can spend the rest of your lives in a plastic bubble, washing your hands ten thousand times a day, spending millions on hand sanitizer, buying all the toilet paper in the state, never again having another point of contact with the outside world. You can, but you shouldn’t. Besides, you can spend all of your time, energy, and money protecting yourself and your family from Covid-19 only to die of a heart attack, a tornado, a car crash, or an atomic bomb. We are not in control. Yet, we do have a responsibility to be wise. This means doing what we should to take care of ourselves and our family. Doing what you should often means just using common sense. The CDC has also put out recommendations for protecting yourself and your family from Covid-19. Living by faith does not mean living in apathetic inactivity. Taking wise precautions is not antithetical to trusting the Lord. We believe that God is sovereign and that He most often works through ordinary means. Therefore, we wear our seat belts, lock our doors at night, work for money, plan for the future, and wash our hands when necessary. We should do all of these things because we trust the Lord to work through them, not because we lack faith in Him and feel the need to help Him out. Fear can produce many of the same actions that faith does, but it is our faith in the Lord that will keep us from overdoing it and from living like others who don’t trust in the Almighty Father to care for them (Matthew 6:19-34). We need to show the world that God can and should be trusted and rested in, and that such real faith results in real actions of wisdom.
- Consider others more important than yourself (Philippians 2:1-11). If you are one who does not easily become anxious and believe that people are making much ado about nothing with this whole thing, claiming that faith in God means living life as though nothing has changed, it may be tempting to throw caution to the wind, laugh off your sickness, and brag about how little you care about the Coronavirus disease. But others in your life, family, church, and community will not be impressed with your great faith and level-headedness, rather what they will hear is how little you care about them. Even if you are among the vast majority of people who would handle being infected with Covid-19 very well and come through it just fine, others might not fare so well. Being full of faith and unafraid, should lead us to love, not apathy. Not being bogged down by the cares of this world does not mean being careless with others. Jesus healed diseases, cared for the sick, fed the hungry, and loved the hurting and those enslaved to fear. Jesus literally gave up His whole life in service of people like this. As His followers, we must be willing to do the same. We must serve others, sacrifice for others, and show (in very practical ways) our sincere love for others. In part, this means doing the following:
- Praying for others.
- Taking care of yourself and your home (washing your hands, cleaning your house, etc) as a way of minimizing the spread of the disease to others.
- Continuing to work and live and play and spend your money and serve and gather as a church and care for others as a constructive member of society.
- Yet, staying home when you are sick.
- Seeking out ways to prevent sickness for others.
- Communicating the peace-providing, joy-producing, eternal life-giving hope you have in Christ.
(See Part I of this post series).