Discernment vs. Suspicion

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Image by Tricia Goyer

 

Scripture:

And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight  to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.  ~Philippians 1: 9-11

 

Reflection

It is my prayer too, that genuine love and knowledge may overflow in this time of so much skepticism, mistrust and suspicion. We had a glimpse into just how suspicious some people are as protests broke out around parts of the United States over the weekend. Crowds gathered in defiance of lock down orders, insisting that the collapsing economy will be worse than the pandemic. It seems that while many are willing to comply and to protect everyone, others rely on conspiracy theories and misinformation. This adds to a mistrust of government and health officials. Calm discerning is so desperately needed right now as the US now leads the world in the number of deaths from Covid-19 (760,000 positive cases and 40,500 deaths). Compare that with Canada: 38, 967 positive cases and 1,873 deaths.

We do want to restart the economy. We do want to save people’s lives. And we do want to be mindful and discerning. That is what our faith, what Scripture, and what Jesus teaches: love and discernment over fear and suspicion. With discernment, we take in all of the information we are given and weigh it all out, look at impacts and risk. We trust those in authority but our trust does not have to be blind. We are called to full knowledge and insight, as Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians as they were struggling with their own issues. As we balance everything, we are able to discern what is reasonable and take steps to ensure that everyone is safe from this virus, that care will be available for those who do need it, and then, that economic health and viability can stabilize. Our amazing God is all about giving us life, abundant life. And this abundance is not only about economics, rather, it is the fullness of life and wholeness with God. May our discerning lead us to sacrificial acts of love in Jesus’ name so that all may know this fullness of life and wholeness with God given to all by the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all may have life, and have it abundantly. .

Prayer

God of resurrection, we pray for Your peace, Your calm, and Your wisdom as we discern the best ways to respond to this global pandemic. Breathe Your wisdom, grace, and resurrection life into this chaotic time. Give wise counsel to those in authority, governments, health authorities. Protect all of humanity against this deadly virus, we pray. Guide the researchers and scientists toward a vaccine. And lead all of us in Your love, so that love and discernment triumph over fear and suspicion. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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