Crisis Reveals what We Believe
Crisis reveals character. It can expose areas where we need to grow; it is when the house is stressed that we find the leaks. The events of this past month have been eye-opening for many. You may have felt yourself slipping more into a pattern of anxious news watching or obsessive cleaning and organizing. How do we resist the external pressures we feel at times like this?
In Romans 12:2, the apostle Paul says that we should “not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.” So his answer to our question is –be transformed by the renewing of your mind. That sounds good, but it leads to another question: How do we renew our minds?
How to Renew Your Mind
Paul’s answer in the rest of chapter 12 is for us to consider ourselves with sober judgment (12:4) and to realize we are merely one part of the body of Christ, which is made up of many members, all for mutual benefit and encouragement (12:5). This reflection helps us keep from being drawn within ourselves, and from thinking too much about ourselves or our own situations.
Now the most significant thing I have just done in the paragraph above is this: I answered the question of how we renew our minds by looking at teaching from the Bible. This is the foundation of our thinking, as the catechism question says, “the only rule (think measuring tape) of faith and practice.” That means that what we are to believe and do is shaped by the Bible.
At a time when what we are to believe and do is being largely shaped and dictated to us by doctors and government officials, it is important to realize that whatever knowledge they have is given by a transcendent God and subject to those bigger realities. We do not suspend our worldview for the sake of a pandemic. Rather, we process the pandemic through our worldview. Everyone has a worldview, those big realities we believe which frame everything else. The people on the news have a worldview, the government officials have a worldview. The question is, how closely do these views correspond with reality?
The Biggest Questions and The Biggest Realities
As we grapple with present issues like death toll and the risk of virus spread, there are bigger questions always behind them. Have we accepted the fact that every one of us will die? Are we prepared for that moment? Is there life after death? This virus is scary because it makes us feel that death may come sooner than we planned. Realities like universal mortality are only comprehended properly in a Christian worldview. “It is appointed unto a man once to die, and then the judgment (Heb 9:27).”
Are you being conformed or transformed? Test your thinking against the scriptures. Let your mind be shaped by them. You will find resources to think through our present situation clearly and you will encounter a God who entered history and rescued men from a pandemic far worse than the Coronavirus.