How should Christians respond to Corona?

I am shocked at how quickly the world slowed down. In a matter of days we went from normal life, to schools being closed down and everyone being told to stay at home and away from large gatherings. I think in our day we’ve all seen too many post-apocalyptic movies for our own good. Surely the robots will be taking over soon and the zombies will arise, or maybe not. Maybe in a week, or a month, or a few months life will get back to normal. In the mean time, how should we as Christians respond to this virus and the time we have set away from our normal routines? How do we honor God while we wait? Here are just a few ideas.

Get Margin – You have been too busy! God has given you a slow down that you wouldn’t take on your own but you needed. Talk to you spouse. Play board games with your kids. Read more. Read your Bible.

Pray! The Southern Baptist Convention and the President have both called for specific times of prayer. You have time! Pray!!!!

Trust God. People panic out of fear. This is where we as people of faith should be different. We do not fear because we believe that God is in control. The Bible tells us over and over again not to fear. Our calm spirit points others to our faith in God. They may just want to know a God that can give them the same level of peace.

HELP!!! If you take a quick look back at history you will see that every great plague or war or natural disaster the first responders have always been the people of God. We step in and step up when others are focusing on self-preservation. None of us know how widespread this virus will be in our nation but we do know that there will be people who need help. Jesus didn’t run from sick people. He helped them and so should we. Here are a couple of practical things you can do:

Check on the seniors that you know. It’s clear this virus is more dangerous for seniors than anyone else, especially if they have some preexisting conditions. If you have a neighbor or family member that is in that age category, call them and see if there is anything they need that you can bring to them and drop off at their door. Many seniors may not be aware of how to order Amazon fresh and they may need some help.

Childcare – With the schools being closed there are kids everywhere and some parents will not get a paycheck unless they go to work. They need help taking care of their children while they work. If you are able, then volunteer to help.

Money – There are those who will not be able to work because their workplace may be shut down and cannot pay them. They may need some real financial help to make it through. If you have more than enough then offer to help. If have food, share it. If you have toilet paper and your neighbor doesn’t, then give them a roll.

Help the Helpers – There are those in our community that are paid to be on the front lines fighting this virus. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, police officers and others are the ones who will be working round the clock to end this pandemic. Look for opportunities to thank and bless these workers. Pray for them.

Share the Hope of Jesus. When people are afraid or anxious they need hope. Tell them of the hope you have in Jesus.

Don’t buy into panic. You will see huge lines at the grocery store. Don’t fight over toilet paper. Don’t push. Be patient. Thank the grocery store workers who are surely tired and over worked.

Get the things done at home that you have not had time to do. Do you have a closet that you have needed to clean for 2 years that you have never had time for? Do it! Make a list of the stuff you have been avoiding at your house and make it happen.

What would you add to my list? I would love to hear it.Screen Shot 2020-03-14 at 8.16.10 AM

“I’d Give More If I Had More”

I’ve heard people say, “If I had more I would give more.”   I think in my younger days I probably felt the same way.  People that have a lot should give a lot.

This seems reasonable. We all see ourselves as generally good and generous people.  Surely, if we had more we would give more.   We purpose that the reason we do not give more is because we don’t have much. If we were rich…well then…

This sounds nice but it isn’t true. 

If you don’t give when you have little then you surely won’t give when you have much.  When you have more you are not more inclined to be generous, you are typically more inclined to spend more on yourself.

Jesus took His disciples aside to show them a very un-extravagant gift. In Mark Chapter 12 He shows them a woman who was the poorest of the poor.   She had almost nothing to give, but she gave all she had. The pastor from the pulpit would not recognize her gift.  Her name would not be put on a plaque and hung up in the church.  No one would congratulate her for what she had done.

…But Jesus noticed her.

Jesus stopped to teach His disciples about giving by using her example.   She gave the equivalent of a penny, but she gave all she had.  Her gift was given out of love and was an example of her faith.  By giving the little she had it would leave her nothing to live on.  She was a widow so she had no husband to take care of her needs.   What she gave, she gave in faith, believing God could take care of her.

If you’re waiting to reach some standard of living before you become a generous person then you will never become generous.   If you give when you have little then God can trust you with more.

I will never forget something Pastor Rick Warren said.  I am paraphrasing, but he was asked why he believed God used him and not some other pastor to write the best selling book, “The Purpose Driven Life”?   Rick Warren’s response was, “because God could trust me with the money.”  Based on the sales of the book Rick paid back all the salary he had ever taken from the church he pastors.  He has also become a reverse tither, giving 90% of his income and living off of 10%.

I have been asking myself if God wanted to bless me with a huge financial gift, “could He trust me with the money?”

Could he trust you?

The best way to become a generous person is to take a step of faith and start giving.