As of this writing, thousands of Filipinos have gone positive for COVID-19, the virus that is sweeping the world like nothing else before. Just this fact alone can cause anxiety and undue stress to so many people, especially those struggling with mental health issues. Tempers flare and people get easily agitated just by going through their social media feed which wreaks havoc on their bodies. This then makes them all the more susceptible to COVID-19. We need to put a stop to this and I propose five virtues that everyone in the Philippines should take stock more of, not just groceries, to fight this disease.
Pat Robertson of The 700 Club wrote that humility is the greatest virtue as exemplified by Christ. “Satan lives out of pride, arrogance, and rebellion. Jesus Christ lived out total humility, love, and sacrifice. The penalty of pride, arrogance, and rebellion is eternal separation from God. The reward of humility and obedience is eternal bliss in God’s presence,” wrote Pat in the book, The Greatest Virtue.
The Apostle Paul summed it in Philippians 2:6-8, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”
The Apostle James put it more succinctly in James 4:10, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
Humility, let us all have more of that.
There seems to be less and less of this virtue going around these days, from ordinary individuals up to the highest people in government. In Matthew 9:36, (NIV), “When he [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
The context of this passage is about Jesus’s call for workers to go to the mission field which He told His disciples who were with Him that day. But compassion for the “harassed and helpless” is important for us to be able to fulfill this mandate. It is important for us, Christ believers, to have genuine compassion for the lost and hurting if we are to do our part well. That is why the church should be at the forefront of providing compassion to the harassed and helpless of today. Jesus is pointing to you and me. We need to have more of this
So many people are angry, raging, and ranting. With what is happening around us, who can blame them? But more than these, we also need to be still, listen, and meditate. My smartwatch reminds me to be still, take a minute to breathe deeply, and be mindful. This means that being still is a proven way to promote mindfulness in combatting stress and anxiety.
Fake news proliferates. The media tends to sensationalize. Social media influencers can be biased and most lack of research. It’s too noisy! We. Need. To. Be. Still.
The Bible says in Psalm 46:10, “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’”
This is one of the most important virtues that we cannot neglect. One more thing. Do not be quick to react. And overreact.
The Bible contains wisdom such as this: James 1:19 (NIV), “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” It would be wise of you to obey it.
This too we need a lot of today. There will always be bad news. The bad news you hear today will be forgotten the next day when the next bad news happens. While it is essentially the same with good news, the difference is that you feel much better with good news. When you entertain and accommodate bad news, it does not only feel bad, but it lingers in your soul and spirit and affects your body in a bad way.
Proverbs 15:30 (NIV), “Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.”
So I pose a challenge for you today. After you read this and go back to your social media feed, HIDE all the negative news you will come across. Just for one day. The second challenge is to share good news only. It does not matter if it’s related to the fight against COVID-19 or if its someone doing good to another. As long as its good news, SHARE it!
Lastly, we need to start having more faith in God. Man will always disappoint, but God will not. There is no cure, yet, for COVID-19. We need to stand in faith that God will deliver us from this awful disease. Hebrews 12:2 admonishes us to, “fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith.” This virtue will allow us to stay strong and endure what lies in front of us.
Isaiah 26:3 (NIV), “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
When we stay humble, compassionate, mindful, still, and faithful, we will ultimately triumph over COVID-19.