The world has changed a lot in the last few weeks, our country has changed a lot last week, and most of lives will change this morning as more things are canceled and more Covid-19 guidelines are set in place.
But aside from logistics, health, and numbers, I’m worried about the way we’re responding as Christians. It can be easy to accidentally minimize the situation with words that seem holy or subtly shame people for acting cautiously (or fearfully).
I don’t think we mean to, but before we throw around Bible verses like “Do not be afraid”, and “perfect love casts out fear”, and hashtags like #faithoverfear, let’s be a little more careful of each other’s emotional and mental well-being when we’re all feeling a little more fragile.
- Fear and faith can coexist.
They are not mutually exclusive.
You are not less of a Christian if you feel fear.
You are not more holy if you act like you have none.
Feeling fearful is not something to be ashamed of, let people shame you for, or to force back into your body because it’s bad.
Feel your feelings.
Fear can motivate us toward or away from faith, but that is about the only relationship they have.
- Fear is a feeling. Faith is a choice, not a feeling. You can be faithful and fearful at the same time. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Move through your feelings, but don’t feel bad because you feel bad/scared. It’s not healthy to detach ourselves from our emotions.
- Social distancing, self-isolating, and flattening the curve is not what fear looks like.
It’s loving your neighbors and being a good steward.
It’s an act of faith.
It’s having complete peace and confidence in Christ even as we are choosing to be more careful of our community’s well-being.
- Yes, we do not have to worry and can be reassured by our standing in Christ. We are saved. God will watch over our coming and going both now and forevermore. We can cast our care on him. He is working all things together for good and he will uphold us with his righteous right hand.
Let’s not panic, but let’s not shame ourselves for feeling our feelings as we stand in our faith in God.
Let’s not panic, but let’s not shame each other for feeling any which way or another.
Let’s not panic, but’s let’s not be afraid of appearing as if we are overreacting/fearful.
Let’s not panic, but let’s not put our neighbors in danger by freely circulating during a pandemic.
Let’s not be motivated by fear, yes, but let us be motivated to act by our care for our neighbors, our concern for not overwhelming our healthcare facilities, and our faith that God has got this.
Let’s not panic, but let’s not let our “faith” lead us to inaction.
Let’s take God at his word and take faithful steps to reduce the impact of a virus we are not experts in.
Let’s follow the most careful of recommendations in concern for our neighbors, our healthcare workers/system, and our community.
Let’s love our people by being careful with our words and not using our faith to shame, silence, or minimize legitimate concerns (or pandemics, as the case may be).
Let’s love our neighbor by staying in.