Dealing with a Crisis According to Jesus

From the beginning of March, we have been living in a continual crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of social distancing policies. All of our students missed out on the last three months of their school year while our graduating seniors missed out on many of the rites of passage that they had anticipated over the last 3-4 years. And, the events of the last two weeks with the death of George Floyd and it’s repercussions have increased our senses of uncertainty, confusion, and frustration. Each of these realities would have been challenging in and of themselves, but when combined they have created a cultural pressure cooker, which has caused me to consider the proper attitude to possess while dealing with crises. 

As a Christian, my first inclination was to study the life of Jesus to examine how he dealt with crises. When I did, I found six attitudes in his life that I think we would do well to adopt when we face our own crises or walk with others through them. Here they are. 

  • Be Prayerful – Jesus was prayerful at all times. He never did anything without consulting his Heavenly Father. He knew that prayer always gets the attention of the God who can actually do something about the situation. 
  • Be Willing to Listen and Learn – When Jesus encountered someone in crisis, he always took the time to listen to the person and learn about what was really going on in the person’s situation. He didn’t make assumptions. 
  • Be Compassionate – Jesus always felt the person’s pain and sought to do something to help alleviate it. That is what makes compassion such a special quality. It motivates us to do something to alleviate the burdens of other people. 
  • Be Gracious – Jesus embodied grace. He always treated folks with grace and dignity, often giving them what they didn’t deserve. He simply responded to their pain. 
  • Be Righteous – Jesus never did anything that was not right. He was perfect. He did not use the situation to justify actions that did not meet God’s holy standard. No amount of pain or frustration absolves us of the responsibility to do and think what is right. 
  • Be Wise – Jesus embodied wisdom as he always properly applied the truth to daily life. He never misapplied it. 

I’m convinced that a prayerful, listening, compassionate, gracious, righteous, and wise person is well suited to confront the challenges that this world presents. Attitude matters. It determines how we respond, the words we say, and the character we exhibit throughout our lives. Let us follow Jesus’s lead while walking through these current crises as well as those that are sure to come throughout the balance of our lives. 

This post was originally written for the Wednesday, June 10 edition of the Chester News and Reporter in Chester, SC.

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