These are strange days, full of hysteria, information, misinformation and fear of the unknown. But we also want to see these as days full of opportunity as well. As we strive to love God and our neighbor during the next few weeks and months, we wanted to share with you two principles to live by and several ways you can live them out.
Pursue Peace over Panic
Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus tells us that every hair on our heads is numbered by God and that we are valuable to him so we shouldn’t be afraid if we are known by Him (Luke 12:4-7).
Now, this isn’t easy, especially when there’s panic all around us. We must speak these truths to our hearts in the midst of the storm.
Pursue Self-Sacrifice over Self-preservation
Jesus says, ““Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:24-25)Likewise, each of us is to “look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)
Here are just a few ideas on how to live these things out:
● We need God’s precious truth to overcome the fear in our own hearts. Fill your heart with God’s Word and other helpful resources that nourish your soul. Catch up on your Bible reading here. Read and listen to other good stuff here and here.
● Be smart and prevent transmitting the disease – wash hands, stay home if you’re sick, “social distancing. This is not self-preservation, but keeping your neighbor from getting sick.
● Support small, local businesses through gift cards and carry out. The economic impact of this event will be felt the most at the small level.
● Don’t hoard supplies that your neighbors need. Share what you’ve got.
● Check in on the elderly and immune compromised. Offer to go to the store for them, bring them meals, etc.
● Donate food to our local YMCA as they provide lunches to kids who are out of school.
● Most of us will be “watching” church services on livestream. Invite your unchurched friends over to watch with you, and talk about what they heard afterwards.
These are just a few ideas. May God’s grace and peace be yours as you seek to follow Him during this epidemic.
Soli Deo Gloria,