This new season of our lives — this coronavirus (COVID-19) season — is a tough one. It can be tempting to disregard CDC and government guidelines about social distancing, quarantining and handwashing. But in these trying days, we can’t afford to be selfish. We can’t put other people, such as the elderly and immunocompromised, in harm’s way. We need to remember: The world is bigger than us!
If we are followers of Jesus, then we are called to honor, listen, love and serve. So instead of complaining about our circumstances or trying to shut them out with television, food and social media, let’s live and be activated to become the people we are called to be.
We live and demonstrate best who God has called the church to be when we are the most helpful to authorities, the most respectful of healthcare workers and the most sensitive to the vulnerable.
The apostle Peter puts it this way:
“Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” (1 Peter 2:13-14 ESV)
We are to show reverence for our governing authorities and healthcare officials out of reverence for God — no matter how we feel about those particular authorities. If we truly love God, then we should be willing to submit to those people whom he has ordained to watch over us (unless they are asking us to do something that clearly contradicts Scripture). If we say we love God, we must also love our neighbors.
So as we stay home and wash our hands out of love for others, how do we make the most of our time?
1. Focus on personal growth.
This is a God-given window to invest in what matters to your heart, soul and mind. Read, sing, dance, cook, create art, exercise or learn something new! Make a priority list every day of things you want to accomplish. As much as you can, try to establish a routine to give your life a sense of normalcy.
2. Unplug from technology.
Don’t tune in to everything and fill your life with noise. Take a break from your phone and social media. Be intentional about making time to meet with God: Be still and know him! I believe God wants to bring revival to our hearts and to our world during this time.
3. Be a servant.
Commit to loving and helping others during this time. Think of ways you can serve your friends, family members and next-door neighbors. If you are able, offer to run an errand for someone or send someone groceries. Pray for the healthcare workers and researchers who are on the frontlines of the fight against this virus. Pray for the sick and those who are susceptible to COVID-19.
Our tasks are simple: Honor authorities, love our neighbors. We do that in this season when we practice social distancing, wash our hands, and stay home.
Let’s not waste these days. Let’s make the most out of them.
Nick Hall, is an evangelist and author. He is the creative visionary behind the Leader Check-In and Together 2020 gatherings and the Year of the Bible campaign, and the host of The Bible Quarantine. Follow him @NickHall.