So here we are, ready to transition back to life. Plans vary by state, city, and even household. As we continue our journey through COVID-19 there are many opinions about how and when to return to some sense of normalcy. Some believe in continuing to stay-at-home while others feel it’s time to emerge from quarantine; to get out more, to go back to church, to go to restaurants, to get our hair cut or done, nails for the ladies, or the movies. If we’re not careful, those differing opinions can lead to arguing and division among God’s people.
Shaming others has become so widespread that we often don’t even realize we’re guilty. We post innocent comments on social media, or make some remark , suggesting someone “lacks faith” because they choose to stay home. On the other hand, we accuse people of carelessness because they choose to leave the house (and yes I'm guilty so forgive me Father) .
When we forget to use wisdom mixed with grace, we could unintentionally damage relationships.
This even goes for ourselves. Parents could feel guilty for keeping their kids from their friends if they choose to continue to self-quarantine as much as possible. Or, on the other hand, they could be wracked with guilt about the risk involved with interacting with other families, but feel like social interaction is essential for their family's well being. We must prayerfully choose what works for our families, and not let shame have any voice.
While we work through the pains of re-entry, let’s look to these words for wisdom in how to interact with other believers.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 MSG God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.
Even when we don’t agree, we can respect and love our brothers and sisters in Christ, using wisdom and offering grace as God provides.