How to Respond to Covid-19 Without Fear
“And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” - Deuteronomy 31:8
Let me begin by saying that my heart breaks for every individual being affected horribly by the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The Brides + Grooms postponing their weddings.
- The vendors losing clients + vital income.
- The small businesses being forced to close for the foreseeable future.
- The families with two working parents struggling to make school being closed work.
- The individuals who have lost a loved one.
- For anyone currently out of a job due to their employment being closed.
Trust me, I am aware of the severity of this pandemic and am taking it seriously. I would encourage everyone to practice social distancing, self quarantine if needed, exercise proper hygiene, and pay attention to what our government and health care providers recommend.
But I also want to make something clear. We should not react from a place of fear. To do so would be to succumb to the brokenness of this world, and we cannot afford that.
Friends, I want to make a plea that we adopt a stance of wisdom, not fear. Fear breeds anger, selfishness, worry, anxiety, and corruption. Our world--heck, our nation--cannot afford to have fear take hold of us! Instead, we need to adopt a stance of wisdom. This will breed understanding, community, love, kindness, self-discipline, and unity. We need these qualities in our world, and they start small, in our homes and communities.
So how do we make this shift from being driven by fear to leading the charge with wisdom?
It all starts in you. You have to do the inner work. It's like they say on airplanes--you have to put your own oxygen mask on before you can help anyone else! So friend, start with yourself. Remind yourself that this is not the end, and even if it is, then come quickly Lord Jesus! Remember who's in control when we aren't! But ultimately, remind yourself that hope is not found in this life or anything this world can offer--it's found in Jesus Christ.
Do you want to know how you can live without fear of Covid-19 or any disaster this world can bring? Jesus Christ. He is our all, He is our King, He is our Savior, and He is our Redeemer.
But friend, let's say you don't believe in Jesus Christ and you're currently rolling your eyes at these words I've just typed. It's okay, I'm not here to shove my faith down your throat or beat you over the head with a Bible. I do believe that a saving faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to truly live a fearless and fulfilled life, but here are some other practices you can put into motion:
- Focus on what you can do instead of what you can't. Can't visit your grandparents due to self quarantine? Give them a phone call instead! School sports are canceled? Think about a skill you've been meaning to learn and tackle that!
- Don't stop socializing. FaceTime your friends, text your family, get together in groups smaller than 10, tune into a webcast with a live chat. Find ways to be social while maintaining social distancing! It's totally possible!
- Tune out the negativity. I wrote a blog post earlier about why I only follow 100 people on Instagram, and I recommend you practice the "following binge" on each and every area of your life. Are there people posting on Facebook who are driving you towards a fear mentality? Click that "unfollow" button. Practice boundaries and find ways to protect your mind so you can stay positive, and build that muscle so you don't sneak back into negativity easily. It isn't easy, but it's well worth it.
- Support small businesses any way you can! Can't go out to eat in their dining room? Order take out or purchase a gift card from them. Get creative and find ways to support these small businesses that are being devastated by this pandemic.
- Look for ways you can help others. Sign up to have a "Hello Fresh" food delivery subscription sent to your grandparents so they don't have to worry about going out to grocery stores. If your sister has small kids, sign them up for a Disney + subscription if they aren't already. Or maybe surprise them by ordering a puzzle of their favorite cartoon on Amazon and having it delivered to their house.
Friends, we live in a wonderful time where we don't have to be physically close one another in order to stay connected! We have Skype, FaceTime, texting, email, Facebook, Instagram...so may ways to stay connected with our loved ones! Use those!
Once you have your own mind free of fear, it's time to help others.
It's not enough to get your own mind under control. Once you've freed yourself from the bondage of fear, it's time to free others as well! Start with the people you're closest with, such as your family and friends. When you notice them living or speaking out in fear, gently call them out on it. Encourage them to live with faith and wisdom, and not let fear control their actions.
Remind others that the reality is no matter how much you fear something, it isn't going to change the situation. Let me say that again...No matter how much fear you throw at something, the situation isn't going to change. You're only going to feel more miserable as you inevitably have to deal with it. But if you look at a scenario through a lens of wisdom or faith, you're able to see steps you can take to exact change and benefit not only yourself, but others too. It's like I said before, fear breeds selfishness, while wisdom breeds community.
Here are some ways to practice wisdom and encourage others to do the same:
- Heed the advice of our government and health care professionals. Take their recommendations seriously, but don't think of them as "execution orders".
- Practice proper hygiene. Wash your hands often, cover your mouth when you cough, and your nose when you sneeze.
- Throw away tissues immediately after use.
- Avoid shaking hands and hugging for the time being.
- Don't visit individuals who are more susceptible to Covid-19, such as the elderly or those with autoimmune diseases.
- Don't gather in groups of more than 50.
- Don't spread fear over social media, such as in Facebook posts or on Instagram. Instead, keep your posts encouraging and hope-filled. If someone responds with fear or aggression, shoot them a direct message and see how you can help them.
- Spend time in prayer for our country and world. Pray for those you know who are sick. Pray WITH others and not just by yourself! Prayer done in community is a powerful weapon!
- Dive into God's Word daily and remind yourself of His goodness and faithfulness. Remember, He holds this whole world in His hands.
- Stay stocked up on basics just in case quarantine becomes more heavily enforced, and SHARE those basics with people who may be in need. Let your neighbors know you're there for them if they need anything. Reach out to your kids who aren't living at home, or your parents. Share what you have instead of hoarding it.
Ultimately, remember that fear is not the answer. It's our natural reaction, but not the correct one. Respond with wisdom.
Our world is in desperate need of more individuals who refuse to respond to fear and instead utilize wisdom and faith in their lives. I encourage you to be a part of this change! Let's make our country and world a more hope-filled place, spurred on by individuals with sound minds, faith, and wisdom at their right hand side.
If you found this post encouraging or helpful you can share it on Facebook or Twitter using the social icons featured below. I pray you stay safe and healthy, and in 8 weeks we look back at this season and say "I'm glad that is over."
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