People are differently constituted. Some are more prone to fear than are others, just as some are prone to one temptation over other. God has formed us all to be different and we have also arrived at this moment after a life of personal decisions. This is why COVID might have a harsher impact on some more than on others.
Pastors need to take this into account when they minister to the flock: that people who are more anxious during quarantine are not necessarily less spiritual. In fact, it is possible that they have conquered much more fear in one week than their pastor has in one year.
This is one way to apply Romans: “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” (15:1) And the weak “must not treat with contempt the one who does not.” (14:3)
Love calls us to treat all saints equally; it does not mean treating them uniformly.
This was the answer I gave last night in a conference in Spanish on COVID and the End Times, and how to minister to the churches during such turmoil. I plan to publish the talk in English before long!
“Will it kill your pastor to visit you?” This dealt with normal visitation, not when there is a pandemic.
“Coronavirus! Do we offer the Lord’s Supper, even when 2 or 3 are NOT gathered? Oh, yes!“
Amen. I remember Dr. Warren Wiersbe saying something to this effect: “Be kind. You never know what battles someone is facing.”
Our household is one with two 87 year old parents who both have very significant underlying conditions. I also have a 33 year old daughter who is severely disabled. And then there is the 7 year old who is neurologically compromised due to a TBI (and Covid definitely has a neurological impact). And I’m a male over 60, though blood type of O which is supposedly to my advantage.
We have chosen to be super careful about masking, social distancing, limiting where we go and what we do (the other Saturday I did attend my niece’s wedding). Because of this, there are many who have jumped to the conclusion that we are filled with fear. Even worse, some have wondered if we’ve become Democrats! Haha. Actually, I don’t think that being cautious means we are afraid. We haven’t lost any sleep over the “worry.” We have lost sleep during this Covid pandemic however, mom had a heart attack late one night and Kari went into status and my wife was up all night encouraging her to breathe after giving her rescue meds to knock out the seizures – we almost lost Kari in that ordeal. So, trying to keep safe from one bug doesn’t mean we have been kept “safe” from all threats here in our little cloister.
Easy to judge, isn’t it? So much better to live with other believers in an understanding way. All of this makes me wonder how often I’ve been guilty of jumping to conclusions and judging based on superficial “evidence.”
As I said in a note to one of our pastors: I’d rather not be thought of as “weak in faith.” I prefer to be thought of as “acting wisely” based on my circumstances. I guess we all want others to think of us in that way.
Some very good thoughts, here, thanks very much! I appreciate the Wiersbe quotation. Blessings, you are wise, not weak! Gary
Yes, no, I don’t accept that doctrine! All illness ULTIMATELY comes from (Adam’s) sin, but there is no indication all illness comes from one’s personal sins. Gary