It’s March 2020 and we are settling into a new normal. We have no idea how long some of these changes in the world around us might last, but there are still those individuals who are resisting. There is a refrain that I have heard, in person and online, that Christians who are true believers shouldn’t be responding to the coronavirus with fear. Rather, they should go on living life as normal, as if everything is the same. Let me push back on that for a minute. When we make changes to our daily life in light of COVID-19, we are responding to wisdom and not to fear.
Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” In other words, a wise person follows the guidance given. As Christians, we value human life and so will act in a way to protect people and save lives. If we knew that a hurricane was coming toward us, we would take precautions, board up our homes and travel as far as we could towards safety. That’s not acting out of fear: that’s responding to wisdom.
Acting out of fear looks like hoarding toilet paper and grocery supplies. It looks like blaming people of a certain ethnicity or spreading rumors about a conspiracy. It means looking out for number one and not thinking of your neighbors’ well-being. It looks like causing strife and chaos during a time of crisis. This we are not called to do.
Yes, it is going to be hard to get through these next weeks. Yes, those of us who are healthy and strong will be inconvenienced for the sake of others. Our commitment to following wisdom is going to be tested in the days ahead. We will want to act in our own self-interest. We will want to act out of fear that we might suffer or lose out.
Let’s remind ourselves that we follow a Saviour who denied himself and laid down his life for others. Surely it isn’t beyond us to spend a few weeks in isolation so that others might live.