Christian Love During the COVID-19 Pandemic (1 Corinthians 13-7)
Love and its components patience and kindness are important aspects of your daily walk with the Lord at all times. In fact, they are Biblical mandates. But when emergency situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic arise these Christian virtues become even more important. These three concepts—love, patience, and kindness—aren’t just related; they are inseparable. In John 3:16 we read that “…God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” This verse contains an important lesson about what God means by love. Christian love is grounded in sacrifice.
Biblical love is a verb not just a feeling or an emotion. It’s an action concept; it’s about what you do. The Lord expects us to be kind and patient with others. He expects us to be willing to put the good of others ahead of our own agendas, to be willing to sacrifice for others as he sacrificed for us and to care for others as he cares for us. Christ made this clear in the second part of the Greatest Commandment when he told us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31).
So how can you show Christian love, patience, and kindness during the COVID-19 pandemic? There are a number of ways, but they all boil down to this: think of the good of others before you act and be willing to sacrifice for others. Here are a few specific examples of things you can do to show others the love, kindness, and patience of Christ during these difficult times:
Avoid panic buying where in you purchase more than you really need leaving nothing or very little for others.
Let another shopper have that last can of soup on the shelf.
Allow another shopper to go ahead of you in the long lines we are experiencing at checkout counters.
Follow the personal hygiene recommendations of healthcare professionals to the letter and err on the side of caution (you won’t do any harm by washing your hands too often).
Make a point of keeping the appropriate distance from others when you must go out in public.
If you have extra hand sanitizer, alcohol spray bottles, hand wipes, or other safety-related items, share the extra with those who don’t have these things.
Check your store room for facemasks disposable gloves that might be left over from a home painting project. Donate your extras to the local fire department and EMTs. Better yet, organize a community-wide campaign in which everyone looks through their storage rooms and closets and donates extra supplies to emergency workers.
Offer to shop for elderly people and people whose immune systems have been weakened by illness. Before handing over groceries or other items, spray them down with an alcohol mist.
If you have symptoms of any kind, isolate yourself. Never put others at risk.
Avoid crowds and follow the rules set forth by government personnel and healthcare professionals (Spring Break comes every year; you can visit the beach then).
If you know someone who has been put out of work by the pandemic, provide meals for them. If you have funds available, gift them with cash.
Help students who are trying to complete their courses through on-line learning but are not sufficiently tech-savvy.
Offer to provide tutoring for high school and college students via the Internet.
These are just a few practical ways God’s children can show others the love, patience, and kindness of Christ during the COVID-19 pandemic. You will be able to think of additional ways if you will remember that love, patience, and kindness are not abstract concepts or theoretical principles. Rather, they are Biblical mandates that require action. There is no better time to show others the face of God than during crisis situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic and no better way to do it than showing them the love, kindness, and patience of Christ. We do this by sacrificing for others in ways both large and small as Christ sacrificed for us.
Finally, if you struggle with showing others the love, kindness, and patience of Christ during these difficult times—particularly those who do not reciprocate in-kind—think of the message in 1 Corinthians 13-7: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” During difficult times like those we are now facing, God expects us to bear up, remember what and who we believe, hope (and pray) for better times, and endure. Enduring is a matter of placing our faith, trust, and hope in God, being smart and wise in taking the appropriate precautions, and persevering in the faith. Do these things and the Christ-like example you set for others might actually save lives. More importantly, it might help save souls.
Dr. Goetsch is the author of Christian Women on the Job: Excelling at Work without Compromising Your Faith, Fidelis Books, an imprint of Post Hill Press and Christians on the Job: Winning at Work Without Compromising Your Faith, Salem Books, an imprint of Regnery Publishing, 2019: www.david-goetsch.com