As Covid drags on and on and the election comes closer, I am sickened by the division I see – in our country, in our churches. I have no patience left for people who think Covid is a hoax – I work in the ICU and see people die from it almost daily. I have no patience left for people who won’t wear a mask. How did wearing a mask to protect other people become something political or showing a “lack of faith?” How can I respond to people in a grace-filled way?
You are on the front lines in the daily battle to save lives. Thank you for getting up every day and going to work. Thank you for taking every life personally and seriously. I can only imagine what it is like month after month to see no end to the battle against Covid, and how exhausting that must be on every level.
I’m feeling your frustration and anger in several areas. You are “sickened by division”, and you are out of patience toward others who look at this whole thing through a different lens. We all have opinions based on our convictions, and we naturally believe that our opinions are right. I personally feel that there are more important things in life than being right. I am not saying we should throw out the moral compass and that right and wrong are irrelevant. But when we hold on tight to our right to be right, we automatically call the other person wrong, our ability to respond in grace is tossed out the window, and relationships evaporate.
It is important to try to afford people the right to their own opinions (even when we think they are wrong), to try to understand where they come from, and to truly listen. We have differing opinions regarding masks in our own friend circle, and we have to agree to disagree for the sake of relationship.
There are always people who believe their opinion is the most important thing, and there are always others on the opposite side of the fence. It’s easy to take sides and stand against the one we disagree with.
What is God’s most important thing?
It seems to me that standing with Him in what is most important to Him is the true answer to being able to respond in grace.
When we’ve gotten sucked into the division around us, we need to take a step back and remember what is important to God. We need to remember why we are here – to share the love of Jesus with those around us. When we obsess about the events of the day, we miss the bigger point. The gospel is our reason to get up every morning. The gospel is our mission. The gospel is the only hope for the world. The gospel is what gives this life meaning – both here and for eternity. When we get focus on the rhetoric, we get distracted and forget what is really important. When we focus on the gospel, we remember that the whole of the message is grace and it is easier to extend it to others.
There will always be those we disagree with. I pray that you will be able to see them through the same lens as Jesus sees you: created in God’s image, truly loved and valuable to Him.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. — Romans 1:16 (NIV)