Discipleship & the Coronavirus: Keeping Our Bearings

Discipleship & the Coronavirus: Keeping Our Bearings

Discipleship and the Coronavirus

This is part of our series, Discipleship & the Coronavirus, featuring posts written by GABC members on what God is teaching them during the coronavirus pandemic.

You may read the entire series here.

by Tim Lubinus

The one who trusts in himself is a fool,
but one who walks in wisdom will be safe.

— Proverbs 28:26

Some would say that to really understand ourselves, we need to reach deep inside and locate our true identity. Through this, they say, we discover our full potential. The idea is that the opinions of other people have interfered with our minds and have distorted the authentic understanding of ourselves. The thing to do, they say, is to clear these outside influences from our minds and grasp our inner selves and recognize our true identity. We will then have the clarity we need to know where to invest ourselves for maximum personal fulfillment.

Others would say that we do not need to find what is deep inside, what we really need to do is empty our minds and without reference to anything good or bad, pay attention to thoughts and feelings in the current moment. In a mindful way, we need to tune in to what is real for us right now. This will then give us to have the clarity that we need to sort things out and gain the perspective we have been looking for.

A Better Way

However, the scriptures are quite skeptical of the concept of following our hearts or emptying our minds. In fact, we are warned against practices like these and instructed instead to suspend our natural inclinations and informed they may even lead to death: “There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12). The scripture instructs that following our hearts is actually completely untrustworthy, “The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

As we consider our understanding of the Coronavirus Crisis and our response to it, how do we keep our bearings? How do we recognize and avoid times when our natural bent is to walk exactly in the wrong direction? How do we avoid the foolish tendency to trust in ourselves and instead experience the safety that results from walking in wisdom?

Three Ideas:

  1. Instead of trusting our natural instincts to worry about what we have accumulated, to hoard supplies, or to stew about the economy, let us walk in wisdom by finding new ways to be generous and willing to share. “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, because he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). Who are some people or ministries to contribute to during this crisis?
  2. Instead of trusting our natural instincts and giving in to a worldly penchant to pass the time in amusements, let us walk in wisdom by investing time in godly pursuits. “Pay careful attention, then, to how you live—not as unwise people but as wise—making the most of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). What are some topics to study or people to connect with during this crisis?
  3. Instead of trusting our natural instincts and giving in to our inclination to isolate, let us walk in wisdom by following Jesus’ example to serve one another through meeting needs and proclaiming the truth of God’s Word. “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you” (John 13:14-15). Who are some friends or neighbors to serve or encourage during this crisis?

The safety that we desire comes from walking with God and in his wisdom. We are grateful to God for giving us his Word and pray for discernment and boldness to be used for his kingdom’s sake during this crisis.