A recent repair at a rental home we own in Cleveland compelled my wife and I to make three trips to Northeast Ohio within the past two weeks.
Our trip on April 27, was noticeably different than our two previous treks up I-71 because traffic was perhaps seven- to eight-times greater than it had been before.
This tells me many citizens of the State of Ohio are moving to resume life more like it had been before COVID-19 restrictions severely curtailed travel and other elements of normal society.
This has already become a divisive issue between the let’s-get-back-to-work advocates and the you-care-about-the-economy-more-than-life crowd.
We will fight about political ideologies, the propriety or stupidity of wearing masks in public and everything in between. The inevitable, escalating disagreement mocks the state’s slogan, Ohio Together, which was supposed to foster unity during this unprecedented time of social and economic shutdowns.
I struggle as a Christian to respond in a Christ-like way amid the turmoil.
I do not want to sow seeds of discord and inflame the anger, but I am not white-knuckling my own mortality because of the eternal perspective I have on life thanks to the certainty of salvation that comes with claiming Jesus’ perfection as my own.
Two verses ring true to me right now:
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with one another.”Romans 12:18
So, while I don’t share the fear of some, and thus don’t feel compelled to wear a mask in public, I will do so if required to obey any government edict that I don’t feel compromises my faith or testimony that my ultimate peace and security come from Christ.
The second verse that drives me is:
“For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of self-discipline.”2 Timothy 1:7
- Power — equipped with God’s strength to persevere through any trial, even COVID-19.
- Love — to show grace toward those who don’t have the peace Christ affords, and thus are fearful, in the hopes that my peace will intrigue them enough to ask about it and hopefully want it for themselves.
- Self-discipline — to read my Bible, pray and seek God’s direction on how I can serve in this time, and also to devote myself to programming my mind with His truth, and not poison it by obsessing over dire media reports and histrionics.
Power, love and self-discipline.
You can always rely on that three-pronged arsenal God gives you as a believer in Christ to conquer whatever challenges confront you in life.