Christians are called to be salt and light in a spiritually dark world. This makes us very different from the people around us! We have a unique worldview based on the Bible which gives us a totally unique perspective on life, how we should live, and how we should react to current events. This means that we should have a unique perspective on alarming and scary events such as the Coronavirus.
First, as stewards of God we should prepare wisely. The concept of the steward comes from the ancient cultures of the Bible. Wealthy people in ancient cultures typically owned lands, animals, and servants. To oversee this wealth, they would often put a person called a steward in charge of their possessions to oversee them. For example, Joseph was Potiphar’s Steward. This concept is still prevalent today. Almost everyone has contracted with an investment company to manage their retirement funds rather than to manage them personally. As Christians, our life is not our own (1 Cor. 6:19-20)! Thus, the Bible sees us as stewards of the life that is God’s (I Cor. 4:1-2). We are called to manage our life, time, and resources wisely, not wasting them, but using them for the kingdom of God and His glory (Eph. 5:15-16; Pro. 3:9; I Pet. 4:10). With a heightened risk of illness, we ought, as good stewards, to take basic precautions as is recommended by health experts: wash our hands often and thoroughly, not touching our face, avoid people who are sick, etc.
Second, as those whose hope is in the life to come, we ought not to overreact by panicking (Psa. 55:22). As believers, we know that God is ultimately in control over current events and our lives; we can be confident that anything that happens to us is part of God’s plan for us (Luke 12:7). Of course, this doesn’t nullify the fact that Coronavirus is potentially deadly for anyone who contracts it, and would kill us, if it is part of God’s plan. Yet the Bible teaches us that death is inevitable and is a direct consequence of man’s sin (Rom. 3:23). Ultimately, all of us will die whether it be from the Coronavirus, heart disease, cancer, old age, or something else. The most important thing for a person is not whether or not they die (they will), but whether or not they trust Jesus as the full and total payment of their sin debt (2 Cor. 4:18; Heb. 9:27;). Unbelievers, though they may suppress the truth of God, naturally fear death because they innately know that physical death is something to fear. On the other hand, believers should not fear death, because our hope and focus are not on this life, but on the life to come (Col. 3:1-2)! The worst thing that can happen to a believer (death) cannot separate us from God, but will usher us into His presence with a perfect body in a perfect world for all eternity (Rev. 21:4-5)! Finally, as those who have hope, believers have a tremendous opportunity to be a gospel witness to a world desperate for the truth. As we live our lives with confidence in God, filled with the joy and peace of the Spirit, we will naturally stand out (Phil.2:15). People will likely wonder why we are reacting so differently (1 Pet. 3:15). We must be prepared to point people to the gospel of Christ when they ask why we react with joyful confidence in the potential face of tragedy.
One of the best quotes I’ve ever heard concerning death is: “death… is only the beginning.” As believers, we ought not to panic when it comes to events such as the Coronavirus because we know that death for us is only the beginning of life with the Lord. Rather, we ought to see these types of events as an opportunity to share our faith through our actions, attitudes, and declaration of the gospel to those whose death will mean an eternity apart from God.