Here’s Our Big Chance, Folks!

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. II Timothy 2:23

I was saddened to read a blog post recently about the selfishness of people. I don’t deny that selfishness is part of the human condition. But this blogger was basing his judgment on one thing – who is or isn’t wearing a mask.

For the past fifteen months our nation has been embroiled in controversy regarding (among other things) masks – whether or not they work, whether they increase bacterial infections, whether they decrease the oxygen supply to children’s growing brains, whether emotional damage is done when people can’t see one another’s faces and smiles, whether masks are dehumanizing, and whether not wearing a mask is a sign that a person doesn’t care if they infect and kill people.

Hearing-impaired people, no longer able to read lips, are feeling cut off from society. People wearing glasses get cranky because wearing a mask fogs up their lenses … Maybe that’s just me…

I even heard on the news of a man who was ticketed for wearing a mask and glasses while driving. He was told he could wear a mask or glasses while driving, but not both.

People wearing masks while driving alone have their intelligence questioned. People not wearing a mask in stores get hateful looks from people who are.

Crossing to the other side of the street when seeing another person approach used to be considered rude, now it’s deemed considerate. Keeping one’s distance in general is considered thoughtful, while elderly people with dementia sadly wonder why no one hugs them any more.

And I haven’t even mentioned the closed businesses, bankruptcies, suicides, riots, and social media wars.

Face it, it’s been a crazy, confusing, and potentially depressing year.

Now there’s hope on the horizon…. allegedly. The new “va**ine” is being either touted as the savior of the world, or feared as a conspiracy to rid the planet of half its population.

So we have yet another controversy fanning the flames of hatred among us.

People getting the injections are called “guinea pigs” by those who won’t, while those who rolled up their sleeves are enraged at the “anti-vax” people, blaming them for delays in getting us back to “normal.”

People asking questions, instead of getting reasonable, well-documented answers, are simply being “cancelled” and looked upon as trouble makers. Physicians who have practiced medicine for decades are being blocked on social media by anonymous “fact checkers.”

What am I trying to say here? … Good question.

I’m saying that everything that has been happening for the past year and a half is way more complicated than “If you wear a mask, you’re a good person who cares about others. If you don’t, you’re a scumbag.” Since when do we have the right – or the ability – to judge other people’s hearts?

To many, a healthy lifestyle involves more than avoiding microbes. Emotional health is also vital – enjoyable activities, human contact, meaningful relationships, creativity, and learning new things. Bodies are weakened not only by germs, but by fear, stress, rage, isolation, loneliness, sadness/depression, and hopelessness. We will never know how much damage was done in the past year to people driven to the breaking point by both the virus and the “solutions.” Children especially don’t need more fighting to add to the stress.

I certainly don’t have definitive answers to any of the myriad questions, and there are people way smarter than I am on all sides of the debates. But here’s what I do know:

CHRISTIANS, THIS IS OUR BIG CHANCE!

While the rest of the world is screaming at one another about masks and shots, election fraud, who’s lying and whos’ gullible, who doesn’t care about others and who’s virtue signaling, here are a few things we can do to stand out from the others, to represent Christ well:

  • Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. When you see people wearing masks, assume those people believe they are doing what’s best for the people around them, and respect that choice. If they seem to be glaring at you, assume that underneath those masks their mouths are smiling – and smile back. Assume people who don’t wear masks have their reasons. Don’t waste emotional energy being angry.
  • Treat everyone with the respect you would want. If someone seems nervous about getting near you, keep your distance. If you‘re nervous, keep your distance. If people have a different opinion from yours, assume they simply have a different perspective, which they arrived at honestly.
  • Refuse to get sucked into an argument (See scripture above.), especially considering it’s highly unlikely at this point that you will change anyone’s mind, even if you were 100% right about everything. (Trust me, you’re not.)
  • Priorities! “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” While educated, sincere, passionate people debate political issues and social problems with no perfect answers, believers in Jesus Christ can be confident about one assignment: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” – Mark 16:15-16 There is only one decision people will make that affects their eternal destiny. Everything else is details. Don’t squander your credibility arguing over lesser things.
  • Remember God is greater. Nothing can happen to you without His permission, and He loves you. He loves your children more than you do. He has more power over lives than any disease. His kingdom is greater than any political party, and it is forever. We don’t have to be burdened with judging anyone – in fact, we’re told not to. He knows hearts, and He will judge everyone justly.

Even if God has called you to battle in a certain area of social or political change, while you’re “fighting the good fight,” you can still stand out with a Christ-like attitude.

We should be the most unconditionally loving people on the planet. We should be staying joyful in the middle of everyone else’s angst.

People will notice. They’ll notice, because grace in these times takes more than human effort and being “right.” It takes supernatural help, the kind we get only from our Savior.

Time is short. People are lost. We have the answer!

Now’s the time to stand out.

LET’S DO IT!

Prayer: Jesus, help us, especially in these times, to be more like You – in the world, but not of the world. Make us a reflection of Your love, extending to everyone Your invitation to eternal life. In Your name, amen

28 thoughts on “Here’s Our Big Chance, Folks!

    1. Above all – yes! Love rises above! We have the “belt of truth,” which I sometimes picture as a “ski belt” like the ones we used to wear water skiing. It kept us from sinking after we wiped out. If we keep meditating on God’s truth, we won’t get sucked down and drowned in the world’s stuff. – We can ride above!

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  1. As society grows in darkness, what each of us can do, by God’s grace, is to become more like Christ and show his unconditional love to others.

    In a secular sense, part of emotional maturity is realizing, and accepting that not everyone thinks as we do.

    Thanks, Annie. βš˜πŸ€—

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha….that is really what arguing is all about. Great t-shirt, and it helps us to understand how much pride is involved in most arguments. Thanks ! πŸ€—

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Annie,
    Oh this was a needed post! The world is so divisive today, people cutting off family and friends for opinions on just these topics. If we forget to offer the hope that we are called to give, can only be found in Jesus Christ, what hope is there of healing ?
    pax,
    dora

    Liked by 1 person

  3. CHRISTIANS, THIS IS OUR BIG CHANCE, this says it all really. Everyday we have a chance to shine for Jesus. Things such as the pandemic just give us a reason to act like Him. Good post.

    Like

  4. “Seeking Divine Perspective?” I think you found it. Keep reminding us of what most of us should already know.
    Blessings on you, and see you in Heaven if we don’t meet before then. c.a.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The unbelievers that I know think that Christians are a joke because of all our fighting over masks and β€œjabs.” Instead of showing people a better way we have affirmed the stereotypes they have of evangelical Christians. The past year and a half has revealed the hearts of the Christians and the church more than anything. God will not be mocked and He won’t share His Glory with another so either we can take this opportunity to obey God and lay aside our rights or we can squander this chance by focusing on the temporal. Excellent and timely post, Annie! Love, hugs and blessings to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I believe what has most puzzled me at this time is the lack of prayer about a worldwide situation where many thousands of people are even now dying without the Lord. My husband’s work colleague sadly will never get home to India to see his sister who has passed away very recently. Just some hours ago my daughter was diagnosed with a very serious eye condition brought on by cancer treatment and I pray that she never succumbs to this virus as her immune system is compromised. There is so much to pray about both in our local communities and on a global scale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Prayerlessness is a serious problem in many churches. I’m blessed to be in a church that prays often. Prayer requests go out daily on our email network, and unlike other churches I’ve been to where prayer meetings draw maybe a dozen people, we have several HUNDRED show up on Sunday nights to pray corporately and specifically for requests that are brought up. These include prayers for family members, co-workers, neighbors, missionaries, political leaders, nations, persecuted Christians, and the sick or injured. And yes, lately they have also included people suffering from Covid, directly or indirectly. (We have seen many of these prayers answered. πŸ™‚ )
      Instead of arguing with people, wouldn’t it be beautiful if Christ-followers were to ask, “How can I pray for you?” ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Amen!!! So important to set an example of Him!!! We definitely have a BIG chance to make a difference and point to Jesus with positivity!

    Love what you said here:

    There is only one decision people will make that affects their eternal destiny. Everything else is details. Don’t squander your credibility arguing over lesser things.
    πŸ™β€οΈπŸ™Œ

    Like

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