A New Way to Think
I believe the following three things are simultaneously possible during the current medical threat:
- We can be socially responsible and still be social.
- We can live without being controlled by the fear of being infected.
- We can do both of the things mentioned above in a way that pleases God.
Look at what God’s Word says:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
If we are going to be socially different and remain both medically responsible and God-honoring, we must let God change the way we think. We have all been thrust into a world we did not see coming. It has taken us by surprise, but God knows how we should respond. He knows what we could and should be doing today in our COVID-19 world.
To let God change the way we think, we must stop copying some of the behaviors that are considered normal in our world. Here are just a few to consider:
- We must stop being knee jerk reactive. This happens when individuals and social norms intensely react too bad news with negative, anxious, angry, and fearful emotions. Without an inner compass driven by biblical values, we become reactive with no forethought to what we are saying, planning, or doing.
- Let’s quit herding. When society reacts to a situation in an unbiblical manner, God’s people can unknowingly herd along. We begin to act like everyone else instead of remaining the salt and light of the world. (I am not talking about social distancing practices. Social distancing is not unbiblical, but if fear causes us to be uncaring, unloving or unresponsive to the needs of others then we might want to check ourselves. We might be herding.)
- Don’t play the blame game. Rather than taking a proactive, creative approach to challenges and seeking to discover the underlying issues that create knee jerk reactions and herding; we can fall into the toxic game of blaming others for our hardships. All the energy that could be used to help overcome is instead used for unhealthy blaming.
- Forget the quick fix mentality. Unfortunately, our success and affluence as a society has created a low pain threshold that discourages us from persevering through hardships. Due to this, we are prone to miss the freshness of God’s Spirit on the other side of discomfort.
Ouch! I know those are stinging observations. I see them in my own life each time I look in the mirror. I am striving to overcome these norms of American culture. Please join me.
Here is some good news. Each day I am hearing stories of people who are letting God change the way they think. They are spending time with Him. They are learning God’s will to discover what they can do today “which is good and pleasing and perfect.” It is possible to be socially responsible, not under the thumb of fear, and please God. This is not beyond our reach.
Here is a song I’ve found encouraging. May it encourage you.