Fear, Responsibility, and the Joy of Living

At the time I am writing this some states are beginning to loosen restrictions on social distancing in an attempt to begin re-starting the economy. Others are suggesting a need to keep things locked-down for another month.

Some people are ready to get back to work, while others fear that they will contract COVID-19 if they retrun to their jobs. Some fear that they will have no job to go back to, while others fear losing someone they love to the virus. Some fear the loneliness that comes with self-isolation. Some fear the mental health concerns that long term quarantine may have on society, and others fear the rise in domestic abuse and sexual assaults that result from long term quarantine.

Regardless of what we may be afraid of, Jesus tells us that we should live in a way that allows us to trust God with the unknowns (Matthew 6). Proverbs 3:5-6 reads: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

As Christians we serve a God who is more powerful than death, a God who created life, a God who made a way for our redemption, and a God who is there beside us in the midst of all of life’s troubles.

As Christians, our lives should not be characterized by fear, but we should be responsible in our actions and we should do what we can to help others. As Christians we should also respect and obey our government.

Recently I have seen many Christians on social media who have acted like our government was unjust in asking us not to meet in our churches for corporate worship. I have seen Christians say disparaging things about how the government is handling or not handling the virus well (btw: any time there is a major crisis, leaders must make decisions given the information they have at the time and we can always say that the situation could have been handled differently, but as Christians we should understand the concept of giving grace in these situations more than anyone). I have also seen attendance go up in Bible Studies and Church Services as they have moved online. I have seen Christians reach out to the poor and struggling in our communities with food and financial help. I have seen Christians praying for their brothers and sisters and I have seen them perform acts of kindness for first responders and medical workers.

Instead of being afraid, we have an opportunity to lead our culture in faith and serenity. As we begin looking to meet together in person again we have an opportunity to assist those with health conditions that prevent them from coming back in person right away. We have an opportunity to help guests who have joined us online to continue to feel important, connected, and loved, even if they are not ready to join us in person yet.

I have been following the number of tests, positive results, total deaths, and daily deaths in our state, our country, and the world for the last several weeks. I do believe it is time to begin easing restrictions and getting our economy restarted. I also believe that this needs to be done with grace and understanding. Wearing a mask in order to help others who may have lower immune systems is a good thing we can do for others. Keeping 6 feet apart as much as possible is a respectable way of behaving.

As restrictions ease, I want to encourage you to be considerate of others who may be more cautious. As restrictions ease, don’t let fear rule your heart. Instead, act responsibly in what you do socially, trust God with your safety, and show kindness to others around you. As Christians we have joy in Christ and that joy is something we can share with others as we trust God in these times!!!