10 Ways Christians Can Exemplify Faith and Peace during COVID-19
- Joel Ryan Contributing Writer
- 2020 29 Apr
In just a few short weeks, classification of the coronavirus (COVID-19) escalated from outbreak, to epidemic, to global pandemic; and President Trump declared an official state of emergency for the United States and its citizens. And as anyone reading this knows, the impact of this kind of global crisis extends far beyond the sickness itself.
There is not a person on this earth who hasn’t been impacted by the coronavirus, in one way or another, and right now, many people are anxious, on edge, and afraid. Some have even gone to the extreme, bunkering down and “panic purchasing” toilet paper, respiratory masks, and bottled water in preparation for the “end of the world.”
Everyone will react to crisis and fear in different ways, but in trying and uncertain times like these, how should Christians respond? When the rest of the world is afraid and loses hope, how can Christians still bring the life and love of Jesus Christ to a sick and dying world?
Here are 10 things Christians can do in faithful response to COVID-19:
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1. Stay Informed and Only Spread Truthful InformationSlide 1 of 7
It doesn’t take a lot to cause a panic. It takes even less for people to fall into fear or turn to their own self-preservation. Right now, we’re seeing a lot of reacting, and not all reactions are positive or even rational.
This is a medical emergency, and there are many people around the world who are sick and suffering. Ignorance and complacency kill, but so can panic, and sometimes our response to crisis can be just as dangerous than the threat itself.
That is why Christians can help by seeking out accurate information from medical organizations like the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization and only sharing facts and truthful information, not more hysteria or misinformation through social media or word of mouth (Philippians 4:8, Proverbs 11:14).
This is a medical crisis, but a world living in fear is also a spiritual crisis. After all, no one benefits from a confused, fearful, and self-centered world more than Satan.
2. Do Not Surrender to Fear
While the world lives in fear, Christians must look to the peace and power of God and be the living the hope found in His name. Faith can be an antidote to fear, and nothing strengthens a believer’s faith like the promises of God.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. – 1 Timothy 1:7
The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. – Isaiah 26:3
There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear. – 1 John 4:18
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3. Practice Personal HygieneSlide 2 of 7
This seems like the most obvious response to fighting an infectious disease, but knowing what steps the Center for Disease Control actually recommend can go a long way to help prevent sickness and dramatically reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Christians must have a global outlook. Remember, it’s not just about you. Just because you are healthy and strong enough to fight off the virus doesn’t mean that others around you will be. And just because you don’t currently have symptoms doesn’t mean you aren’t infected or incapable of spreading the virus to others.
If you’re not sick:
-Avoid close contact with those who are.
-Thoroughly and frequently wash your hands.
-Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
-If you can avoid public places, stay home!
-Understand that quarantines will help slow the spread of COVID-19.
If you are sick or think you might be sick:
-Stay home. Seriously. Consider your impact.
-Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
-Wash your hands frequently!
-Disinfect surfaces you’ve touched.
-Wear a face mask if available. If not, cover your nose and mouth.
This is a time, more than ever, for Christians to step up and care for the sick by being socially conscious, considerate, and diligent in practicing personal hygiene (Leviticus 19:32, 1 Timothy 1).
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4. Choose Compassion over Personal ConvenienceSlide 3 of 7
As mentioned before, a global pandemic like the coronavirus impacts more than just our physical health and well-being. To reduce the spread of the virus, most event centers, sporting arenas, and public gatherings have been temporarily closed and their events canceled or postponed.
While this may feel extreme, canceling or postponing large public gatherings, even ones we enjoy, dramatically reduces the number of people who will be exposed to the coronavirus in the coming months. In doing so, lives will be saved.
Yes, our personal comforts and entertainment may be restricted or put on hold, but not going to Disneyland, Coachella, or the Lakers’ game is a small price to pay for the health and safety of others around the world, even those we have not met.
Christians who complain about all the things they have to give up in this season while people in the world suffer are not practicing the love and compassion of the Jesus they claim to serve (Romans 12:15).
As Paul wrote, “do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:4-5)
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5. Don’t Buy What You Don’t NeedSlide 4 of 7
In being willing to sacrifice for the good of others, Christians should also be considerate and not buy more than they need. It’s wise to prepare for the future (Provers 6:6-11), but that doesn’t mean Christians should stockpile supplies that are desperately needed elsewhere. “Panic purchasing” and stockpiling has led to the kind of shortages we’ve seen in recent weeks.
Christians can help by:
-Refraining from buying respiratory masks. Surgical masks are essential for doctors and nurses, and without them, they cannot effectively treat sick patients, including those with coronavirus.
-Washing their hands with soap when possible and saving the hand sanitizer for nurses, first responders, and trauma centers.
-Saving bottled water for those who do not have immediate access to clean running water. Use the tap or filtered water first.
-Saving baby wipes for babies. There are other ways to clean and sanitize one’s house.
Remember, God has promised to be your daily bread (Luke 11:1-4) and provide for all of your needs (Philippians 4:19, Matthew 6:25-34). As Jesus said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34)
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6. Donate to Shutdown Schools and Contribute to Employees Out of WorkSlide 5 of 7
With most schools shut down and many businesses closed, a lot of people are out of work for the foreseeable future, and many parents, who would normally be working, are now forced to stay home to take care of their children.
Shutdowns and temporary quarantines have had an unintended effect on the financial stability of families and the well-being of the children in them.
In many cities, schools provide the only meals children get each day. This is why many schools in cities like Los Angeles and New York were hesitant to shut down, and with parents forced to stay home from work, things can get even tougher for families struggling to make ends meet.
So what can Christians do?
-Be generous and give to families in need.
-Donate money to help children and fund shut-down schools.
-Pray for Congress to pass more legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for families out of work.
-Ask about the needs of your neighbors and go out of your way to meet them.
-Turn to out-of-work parents, artists, performers, and educators for childcare and other jobs.
The apostle John wrote, “if anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” (1 John 3:17)
Like it or not, the time for generosity is now. How will Christians respond? Will they be stingy or quick to provide for “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40)?
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7. Don’t Isolate Yourself from the Body of ChristSlide 6 of 7
Our church announced that it was canceling Sunday services for the foreseeable future. While my wife and I hope this is only temporary, shutdowns like this do not mean that the church must cease to be the Body of Christ.
Even if they cannot meet in person in their normal buildings, or together in small groups, Christians must stay in contact with fellow believers and encourage them through text messages, phone calls, and even FaceTime or Skype. Thankfully, there are still many resources available, the greatest of which is prayer.
The Apostle Paul was often prevented from meeting with churches and believers in person. This did not stop him from writing to fellow believers or praying for them from where he was (Romans 1:8-11).
Today, we have the same spiritual resources available to Paul and even in more communications resources. Let’s use them and not make excuses (1 Peter 3:8).
Again, no one benefits from an isolated and divided church more than Satan.
8. Be the Church
In the midst of fear and uncertainty, Christians have a tremendous opportunity to be the salt and light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). Imagine what the next few months could look like if the church took the lead on giving, compassion, and community care during this trying season. What an impact we could make and what a light we could be.
The greatest testimony of Christ’s love is Christians who love the world the way Christ does (John 3:16, 1 John 4:19). By our love, the world will know we are His (John 13:35).
Global disaster or opportunity to be the light and love, hands and feet of Jesus Christ? We get to decide (Colossians 3:12).
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9. Unleash the Power of PrayerSlide 7 of 7
There are many ways to react to a public health crisis like the coronavirus. But in this season, Christians have the power to do more than react. Now is the time for Christ’s followers to truly go on the offensive and unleash the power of prayer.
-Pray for healing for the sick (James 5:14-15)
-Pray for strength for those who aren’t sick (3 John 1:2)
-Pray for provision (both financial and physical) (Philippians 4:19)
-Pray for a spirit of peace to come over the world (1 Timothy 1:7)
-Pray for wisdom for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
-Pray in unity with other believers (Matthew 18:20)
-Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
10. Put your Hope and Trust in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords
While the coronavirus may impact our health, our economy, and our very way of life, we serve a God who is bigger and stronger than any sickness, fear, darkness, or weapon of the enemy, and He has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11). Our God is Healer (Psalms 30:2), Provider (Philippians 4:19), and King (Psalms 47:7).
So trust in the Lord, trust in His power, trust in His plan, and stand firm in His promises (Proverbs 3:5-6). Be the church and the light and love of Jesus Christ to a sick and frightened world. And when you too are afraid, never forget that “weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.” (Psalms 30:5)
EDITOR'S NOTE: This previously-written article has become a resource for many as we face growing fear and anxiety due to the Coronavirus pandemic. God is ALWAYS our source of protection, strength, and peace during unknown times. In addition, the following articles may offer more encouragement for all to remember as we face the trials of COVID-19 together:
- Do Not Fear! 10 Verses about Fear & Anxiety to Remind Us That God is in Control
- Prayers for Peace Amidst Pandemic Fear
- Powerful Prayers for Coronavirus - Those Sick and Those Worried
- What “No Harm Shall Overcome You” in Psalm 91:10 Means for the Coronavirus
- "Be Still and Know That I Am God": Meaning & Promise of Psalm 46:10
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