Dr. Randy Carlson
COVID-19 and the reality of the times wear on most of us. We are tired; our culture is stressful; and it’s important to think about what is needed for a post-COVID world. Throughout history worldwide and national events like wars or pandemics, our world has changed socially, economically and even the way we perceive things.
As a result of this worldwide pandemic, we’re seeing change now that will impact how we experience life in the future. We are already witnessing it in less globalization, a disruption in the relationships with the nations of the world, as well as the travel industry. Consumers shop differently today. Our social interaction with one another looks different than it did six months ago. Our church and educational systems have had to adjust. Weddings, graduations, funerals and babies’ births are not the same. And then there’s the impact on large gatherings like sporting events, concerts and large corporate events.
So, let’s look at three practical, basic and very intentional things that are needed in a post-COVID world.
- Decide how you intend to live.
Making a decision gives you direction. The times we live in right now are filled with a great deal of fear and uncertainty. Some of you probably are experiencing it pretty significantly and maybe haven’t shared with others what you are feeling. Whenever there’s fear and uncertainty, it drives us to make decisions in our lives. We will witness people coming through this pandemic making decisions for their marriage, for their finances, for their work and it’s going to be reactionary, done out of fear and uncertainty.
It is important for those of us who are followers of Christ to decide how we intend to live in a post-COVID world.
Proverbs 16:33 says, “The lot is cast into the lap, but every decision is from the Lord.” In ancient times, they cast lots. At the crucifixion they cast lots for the robe of Jesus. People took a small stone with their name or mark on it, and then they would throw the stones. Today we would throw dice or draw a card. Your lot was cast. You got what you got by chance. But the wisdom of Solomon in the rest of our verse says: “but every decision is from the Lord.”
We don’t live in a world of chance, even though it feels like it at times. Some of you have faced difficult things in your life, and you feel like it came out of left field. But God is not a God of chance. Ultimately, while we make decisions, the outcome is in God’s hands.
- Declare how you intend to live.
Setting a goal, declaring your intentions increases your commitment. Declaring whatever we’ve decided really reinforces it. There is nothing magical that happens when we say it, but something seems to happen inside of us when we declare it.
In our culture, we require people taking an oath of office to declare it out loud. When people get married, they declare their vows out loud. We stand together sometimes and give a pledge of allegiance to our country. Paul said “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10 NIV).
When we make a declaration of our intention for Christ, it’s not for his benefit; it’s for our benefit. It’s with the heart that we believe, but with the mouth that our confession is made. We say, “I love you,” to those we care about. Something occurs in our spirits when we make a declaration like that.
- Do the next right one thing!
Doing one thing daily to manage how you intend to live will result in progress, peace and purpose in your life.
In the Book of James, he reminds us to be doers of the Word. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do” (James 1:22-25 NIV).
So, those are the three things needed for our post-COVID world: decide, declare and do! Making a decision will give us direction. Declaring increases our commitment. Doing one thing daily to manage how you intend to live will result in progress, peace, and purpose in your life.
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