It all began in the United States on January 20, 2020. That was the date of the first confirmed case of COVID-19.
On March 27, 2020, the United States became the largest number of confirmed cases worldwide.
The rapid-fire governmental directives and executive orders have touched every single American. Schools, restaurants, bars, gyms and eventually all non-essential businesses have all closed. Interstate borders are now being shut down. It’s completely surreal.
At first, most of us thought of it as a minor temporary adjustment. Most people were glad to take a few days off. Practically no children were complaining.
But that’s all beginning to change.
We’re transitioning from mild concern to deep-seated anxiety. The virus of fear is taking root and is turning normally delightful people into suspicious paranoids.
As I’ve watched this metamorphosis, I’m noticing some common behaviors that we are falling prey to.
Bad behaviors we can fall into during the corona pandemic and how to overcome them.
#1 Shaming vaccine
The grocery store clerk was scanning the items off the conveyor belt. The lady in front of him was watching him like a hawk. In a split second he lifted his hand and wiped his brow. The woman shrieked, “AAAAAHHHHHH,” as though someone had stolen a baby! The poor boy nearly jumped out of his skin. The woman wagged her pointed finger at him as she scolded him for his “breach of corona protocol.” Several customers in the line nodded in agreement. Some moved their carts to another line.
Some form of this made up scenario is beginning to happen all around us. I bet you even have a few stories of your own.
Of course, we want to be diligent to follow the hygiene protocols being recommended by the CDC.
HOWEVER, we also need to all take a collective chill pill and be on guard against over-zealousness. You have not been inducted into the GMP (Germ Management Police). Put away your “CLEANER THAN THOU” attitude and take a step back.
So, what’s the SHAME vaccine? PRACTICING not POLICING
PRACTICE the protocols recommended by the CDC but avoid POLICING others.
Paul instructs us to…
“Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business…” (1 Thessalonians 4:11, NLT)
#2 Hating Vaccine
The mood has changed everywhere. Friendliness is going out the window.
Go to the grocery store and it feels like an episode from the Walking Dead. People are afraid to even make contact (cause, you know THAT’S going to spread the virus). Smiling exposes your mouth so we better cut that out.
Tense customers taking it out on tired workers is a terrific recipe for angry outbursts and the collateral damage spreads like a virus.
Even worse, we may start slowly turning our pent-up frustration into targeted resentment.
Who’s to blame for all this suffering? If we’re not careful we may answer, “Whoever contracts the virus!” Then it won’t take much for us to shift our hatred of these circumstances to a resentment towards the victims. “These sick people are the reason my life has been turned upside down!”
If we allow hate in our hearts, then we will begin to see the infected more as problems than people.
Will we let Corona steal our compassion?
So, what’s the vaccine for HATE? CARING not GLARING.
The antidote to Hate is LOVE!
Love is not something you feel. Love is something you do. If anyone ever gave us an example of how to respond when our suffering is caused by someone else, it was Jesus’ death on the cross.
He didn’t cause it.
He didn’t deserve it.
But He chose to use it.
Love always wins against hate. In fact, love can never be fully expressed until it is given unreservedly and undeservedly.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7, NLT)
#3 BLAMING Vaccine
As the initial shock of this pandemic wears off, and the adjustments we are forced to make wear thin, it’s inevitable that we will begin looking for someone to blame for all of this pain.
I love the scene in the Garden of Eden when God confronts Adam and Eve after they had disobeyed His instruction not to eat off the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
God: “Adam, did you disobey me?”
Adam: “It’s that woman’s fault!”
Eve: “It’s that serpent’s fault. He talked me into it!”
Serpent: “Why blame me? Don’t you know snakes can’t talk!”
Everybody’s trying to blame somebody. In this current crisis it will be very tempting to try to fix the blame.
Whose fault is this?
- People not taking precautions?
Hosea the prophet said, “Don’t point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame!” (Hosea 4:4a, NLT)
The truth is it’s more important to fix the problem than to fix the blame.
Yet our sinful nature wants to take out our anger and frustration on someone, so what do we do?
What’s the vaccine for blaming? SHARING not DESPAIRING.
God tells His people through Isaiah the prophet, to stop trying to seem holy through their feasts and fasts, but to live out their faith through giving:
“Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help…Stop pointing your finger [and blaming]; stop spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength…” (Isaiah 58:7–11, NLT text)
My prayer is that this crisis will come to be known as the year when the church stepped out in faith and stepped up in love.
Let’s not waste this opportunity to love, pray and serve our community like never before!
For the last two years our church has voluntarily shut down all of our services on Palm Sunday in order to serve our community.
We’ve dispatched nearly 2,000 people serving community partners across the Delmarva peninsula.
Although we cannot go out physically this year, our church leadership team has decided to designate a special offering for the Corona virus as GIVE 1-DAY (Thanks Jenny McFadden for the name).
Every dollar of this special offering will go towards helping church members who are experiencing Corona-related financial difficulties and a host of local Community partners including but not limited to:
- Hope and Life Outreach (HALO) – a Christ-centered, faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to serving the homeless in our community.
- Area Food Banks and food relief partnership with Mountaire.
- Wicomico County School Partnership
- Peninsula Regional Medical Center front line workers meals
If you’d like to be a part of loving our community with this special offering, you can give by clicking below:
Be sure that “Giving Type” is set to “Missions – PEACE Offerings”