Wisdom on Facing Pandemic Danger
I am going against two personal convictions in writing this article. First off, I deeply dislike stirring up controversy. I have always wanted people to remember me for what I stand for not what I stand against. I would so much rather be constructive giving people guidance in the direction of hope and restoration on life and relationships. Maybe I will. That being said, I might not be able to do that on this pandemic topic. It’s pretty controversial. No doubt —there will be those who disagree.
Secondly, I personally have decided to put a moratorium on discussing pretty much anything C***D related (humour me, C***D is written this way because for me, talk of the pandemic has taken up too much space in our lives). And no, I don’t have my head in the sand; we are all at least knee deep in sand and it’s blowing in our faces incessantly as with a windstorm. We need to find a way to raise above it — to breathe again. So, for now, I am purposely respectful and patient with those that jump in and blurt out their thoughts on the latest poll, statistic or prediction. But I simply have chosen to move on, when possible, without comment and shift to another topic. So, what am I thinking writing this?! Here I go now, presenting this against personal wisdom by stepping into a controversial topic and even choosing to address it after I have pressed the ‘pause button’ for myself on discussing all things C***D.
Important Background: You see within Christendom, and clearly in the Word of God, there are cardinal doctrines that we need to uphold (salvation by grace, the resurrection, inerrancy of Scripture etc.). We should call out those who appear to be watering down long-standing and central Biblical teaching. We need to defend core truth with passion.
But remember, there are also numerous disputable matters within Scripture and the church that we are taught not to create division over (type of baptism, end times views, spiritual gifts etc). The problem is that there seems to be a growing number of well-meaning people who are strongly defending their pandemic opinions with a sort of anti-heretical passion assuming somehow that their take on all issues C***D is accurate and undisputable.
Here are some of the dangers I am seeing as we continue to face the impact of the pandemic:
THE DANGER OF PANDEMIC PREOCCUPATION. How much time and energy are you spending on all things C***D? Seriously, over a year ago, I strongly recommended in print that people limit how much time they listened to, read, watched or followed C***D news, opinions and stories. It is wise to choose the one or two sources you will trust and actually stop devouring pandemic content after say 15 minutes per day. Read more balanced. Consume constructive life and faith-building articles. Try to be in the Word more than you are devouring C***D material. TRY IT. The distraction away from so many other things far more important — people included —is significant. It’s not just how much time you spend engaging the content, it is how much the content engages you — how much it dominates your headspace. For some, C***D discussion has become life consuming and conversation dominating. One of the saddest examples of this distractive preoccupation is a once solid, evangelistic missionary that I have powerfully partnered with on two overseas mission trips is now consumed with delivering the ‘latest’ proof and perspective on his C***D views. In well over a year, he has not shared anything about God, faith or Jesus. Honestly, where might you be preoccupied away from things more important?
THE DANGER OF FEARFUL FIXATION. Have you ever thought that your sensationalization of the latest news, your major rants online and in person, and your growing frustrations with statistics, decisions and directions can create a heightened anxiety in numerous people around you? Some people are fear vacuums. They suck up everything negative. Their emotional space gets flooded and doom domination prevails. They experience what I call the downward spiral of worry. And you don’t know who they are. They don’t tell you that your strong opinions and negative commentary about the pandemic really troubles them. What’s worse. You talk freely with young minds around and these children and youth pick up fears and phobias that they are not equipped to handle yet. This inner pandemic anxiety cripples some children. If you feel you must share your latest C***D news, be careful of your audience. Then, please try to close with a balancing statement that you deeply are trusting God to lead us all through this. That HE brings hope and strength.
THE DANGER OF UNNECESSARY DIVISION. Strong divisive opinions can create high, defensive walls.
Because of the stress we are all under with conditions and limitations we have never faced before, comments and opinions can easily be overstated born out of conviction on what seem like life and death matters. Division. Emotional responses can just as easily become negative reactions born out of fear, controversy or a sense of pressure. Growing division. Some try to get people to agree with them to actually anchors them to their opinion even more. Increased division. In these emotionally charged moments, it’s like we need to win an argument at all cost. When that happens, the stronger the opinion – the stronger the reaction often becomes. Division. Division. Division. While your civil liberties allow for freedom of opinion (you can believe what you want to believe) and freedom of expression (you are allowed to voice your opinions without fear of silencing) — these freedoms are best handled wisely. Try keeping your opinions to yourself. Try keeping your most sensational google information to yourself. Try keep the latest news to yourself. The best course of action is to sort out what you believe but then chill — letting others develop their pandemic perspective. Live and let live.
THE DANGER OF FAMILY BREAKDOWN. We have all heard the sad, sad truth of the impact of C***D. Marriages are faltering at an alarming rate. Domestic violence is up. Drug-related over-doses are up. The multiple stresses of this pandemic season have taken their toll at home: lockdown, isolation, job loss, necessary home-schooling, health fears, loss of connection, financial pressure, working from home and no freedom to date or get out as a family are just the beginning of tensions. C***D is fast-revealing the chinks in many couple’s marital armour. But in this season, we all have to remember that “relationships are more important than the issue”. Ask God for patience to love well at home. Work together to find alternatives to ongoing fights and bickering. Get more fresh air. Reach out to other families for interaction and connection. We have found that the demand for help through our counselling centre, and many others like ours, grows incrementally with each month of the pandemic influence. People are weary. Anxiety is high. Emotions are raw. Resources are low. God knows what you are facing at home. Reach out to get the help you need. Reach out to give the help others need.
In the face of these mounting dangers, I conclude with this. Live in peace within your soul believing you are safe in His hands. Show perseverance. Push through the challenges you are facing believing that the Joy of knowing the Lord is your strength. Display patience with others of different opinions and perspective. Don’t live to make your case. Maintain partnership. Create connection. Tear down walls – don’t create them. Promote perspective — one that honours God. If you are going to raise picket signs, display posters in windows, shout opinions, post on social media, write an article or even create a podcast, let this be the message: “C***D is not in Charge – CHRIST is! We trust Him.”
The admonition is clear all over Scripture but very significant here in Ephesians 4:2-6 — “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
Read it again and take a huge step toward living this out with those in your world. Remind yourself that there are so many things that we are designed by God to be ‘ONE’ on; these core truths are designed to deeply unite us. Please don’t let C***D rob the unity within your circle of family and friends or within the greater Body of Christ.
So, I challenge you — if you have read this far – that EVERY TIME you bring up C***D in a discussion, you bring up CHRIST. Weave His hope into every pandemic conversation to maintain a God-honouring balance.
For some timely and relevant audio and video help in coping with this difficult pandemic season, check out some of our other great resources listed below:
A Video Podcast with Pastor Jonathan Neufeld of Ridge Church where Dr. Dave Currie shares how families can better navigate and work through these trying times — and become closer, not farther apart during C***D-19! Dr. Dave shares tips, advice, and more to help your family work together to not let C***D bring you down!
An article by Dr. Dave on How Forced Changes of C***D-19 Can Improve Your Family
A No-Nonsense and Practical Look at Overcoming Pandemic Pressures as a Person, a Partner & a Parent! In this podcast, Dr. Dave discusses causes of family tension and strategies for stability that will allow homes to outlast the current health crisis.
A special podcast with Pastor Shaun Brandow of Truth & Nails on how the pandemic and its lock-downs have affected our children and parenting. Dr. Dave offers some great ways we can be more proactive and provides with some insight to help us spot warning signs that our children might be hurting.
A 3-Minute Video with Dr. Dave giving his perspective on where is God in this pandemic as seen on a client podcast with host and financial planner, Brad Willems.
© Dr. Dave Currie – October 2021