by Brittney Chan
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Recently, I was completing an online orientation for a new job I accepted. I'll be honest, as I sat in front of my computer and began clicking through the course, it wasn't long before I started to lose interest in what I was doing. I currently juggle three different ”per diem” jobs as a Physical Therapist Assistant and the orientation work is very similar across the board for all of my workplaces.
I had just begun a section called, ”De-escalating a Tense Patient/Family Situation” and a few things grabbed my attention. The curriculum described a scene amongst two groups: the caregiver and the recipients of care. Whether through miscommunication, ill-intent, or neglect; the mood of the room changed and resulted in a more difficult work environment. The study gave an overview of how we, as healthcare providers, should respond to the situation by way of the acronym ”AWARE.”
The letters stood for Attention, Watch, Analyze, React, and Engage. As I'm sure you can see, a step-by-step plan was provided to assist in navigating stressful situations. However, immediately I thought of how fitting this was for our spiritual circumstances, as well.
If we were all real with each other, I think we’d agree that we certainly live in a world full of temptations. As Christians, it is crucial that we remain attentive and watchful of the enemy’s devices. It’s not enough to be cognizant of how the devil is working, but we also have a responsibility to react in order to live victoriously as a child of God.
Read over the warning given to us in 2 Timothy 3. It educates the reader on how to know when we’re living in the last days. The description most definitely sounds like the climate of our current surroundings. People love themselves! They are selfish, covetous, prideful, unthankful...the list continues. This becomes evident when daily news is filled with reports of rioting and racism or when social media becomes a war zone of opinions. We’d rather fight over social etiquette and whether or not we should wear masks than love our neighbors. In all of our criticizing of pastors, school administrators, and government leaders; have we once stopped to think this very thing is what Apostle Paul warned against? If we spend all of our time arguing for our personal rights, when does God get glorified?
How hypocritical have we been as we claim to love God, but we can’t seem to get along with His image bearers?
Our adversary tempts us to give into the notion that we are better than others or that his temporal offerings are more appealing than the everlasting liberty that God brings. We are mindful of this, but what do we do once the curtains are pulled back and we can see how Satan has been at work behind the scenes?
Paul proceeds in his letter to Timothy and tells him in verse 14 to “continue in the things that you’ve learned and have been sure of.” Basically: “Hey, Timothy, take a look around you. The world is seemingly falling apart and men are busy following their own passions and desires. As a man of faith, this is not how you should be acting. You should be confident in what you know of God and how He desires for you to represent Him on this Earth.”
Paul’s encouragement is still beneficial for us today. Instead of living in fear of COVID-19; hear Jesus say, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” (John 14:27) Rather than bickering over politics with your neighbor, hear the Apostle’s call to pray for those in authority over us. (1 Timothy 2:1-2) Practice preferring others. (Philippians 2:3) Search out ways to show your gratitude for how God has blessed you. (1 Chronicles 16:34)
It isn’t enough to be conscious of what’s going on in our world. We must engage. It matters how we react to what is taking place around us on a daily basis.
Today, I pray for wisdom. I ask You for understanding. Show me the benefits of living peaceably and the ways that I can serve You by serving those around me. Teach me to love people past our differences. Give me the confidence to trust that, ultimately, You are in control. And no one can change that.
In Jesus’s name,