Fear & COVID

Here's one of the biggest problems we struggle with in the Church that we need to move away from: "They did that wrong."


Matthew Davenport

3/4/20224 min read

One of the key struggles of Christians the last couple years has been how to respond to COVID. In a conversation with a fellow-believer the other night, the topic of Covid and Christians came up. The question was presented, “Should Christians fear the Covid virus?”

I have considered this since the virus became the object of our attention more than two years ago. Like many others, I saw that fear could be the undoing of many. I refused to walk in that fear and that aspect never took hold of me. Nancy and I both walked that road of thinking. And yes, it’s true I got the virus. We both did. It was miserable and more than once I truly wished to go home and be with Jesus. Just being honest. Despite that, we both survived it. We had gracious people tending to us as we live alone. And a ton of folks praying for us.

In the mean time, the virus has mutated and then dissipated. Even the suggestion of masks has moved on. But looking back now, how do we process the fear that gripped even some men and women of God?

Here’s one of the biggest problems that we struggle with, in the Church, that we need to move away from: “They did that wrong.” It is a criticism that really produces nothing positive. At all!

Our relationship with God is absolutely vital. Inside that relationship no one else can tell us how we are doing it wrong. We can be given many, many teachings on how it should be going and ways to improve it. And, obviously, admonishings to make sure it is happening. But our relationship with God grows and ebbs according to what is happening in our lives and the choices we make. Criticizing for what someone is doing right or wrong will likely cause them to rebel against your suggestions. Whether you are right on, or way off mark.

In other words, our relationship with Him will determine how fearful we are of the things that the world is dealing with. Someone can quote us scriptures about how we shouldn’t fear all day long. You know, because there are a lot of them in the Bible! The first one that always comes to mind is, “There is no fear in perfect love”. (1 John 4:18a) Then there is “For you did not receive a spirit of bondage again to fear...” (Romans 8:15a) And Jesus repeatedly said to “fear not”. In fact, the phrase “fear not” in some fashion is written in Scripture 365 times. Like once a day for an entire year.

Am I allowed to have fear? Well, when I was a child, I did childish things. When I grew up, I stopped doing childish things (Paul, 1 Corinthians 13) Is it possible that we can respond to the difficulties of fear others experience by remembering the love of Jesus before we remember the “fear nots” they need to live in? Maybe seeing that each of us are growing little by little?

I propose that our fear of the world’s issues are related to our maturity and, just as we treat immature Christians with compassion and understanding, we should see those who struggle with fear in the same light.

Don’t jump up and yell at me. I still believe most thoroughly that we need to learn to walk without fear. Knowing all the truths that we as Christians understand, yes we should be walking without fear of other’s plans, possible persecutions, people making fun of our beliefs, and death by way of virus. All the truths of being fearless in God and the manipulated stats on Covid aside, will we ever learn to walk in the love of Christ first? Recall, it was the religious that Jesus was the toughest on, not the frail members of a society struggling to get by.

I remember years ago the big WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) thing was everywhere. Bumper stickers, posters, wristbands, t-shirts. It was huge. And while I realize that to push such a thing now might seem a bit trite, it’s very possible that we need the reminder of it by asking ourselves what He would do. Of course, your knowledge of His life is kind of required in order to answer that question with honesty and not personal opinion. Which, in myself, can be quite difficult. Maybe change it to HWJL? How Would Jesus Love...

Fear creates many aspects of fall-out. And we, as God’s people, struggle with it in many respects. Often as much or more as ones that do not know Jesus. I think we will need to visit this again...

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