The past two months have drastically changed our thinking. If you don’t think so, go into a public place and start coughing and see the reactions (on second thought, don’t do that). There will always be a “BC” (before COVID) means of thinking, and there will now be an “AD” (after distancing) thinking. However, this new way of thinking causes me to think of the parallels between the mindset of a disciple of Jesus. Here are some comparisons to consider:
There is no going back only going forward. It does no good to constantly live in the past. In fact, a person who lives in the past will find their present tainted and their future bleak. The Jewish Christians to whom Hebrews was written badly needed this reminder that what they had before them was far better than what they left behind them (Heb. 11:37-12:3).
Old habits are replaced with new habits. Has anyone tried not touching their face so much? Has anyone forgotten to suppress a cough in the hardware store? Old habits die hard. Yet, when we look at the changes that happen when a person becomes a disciple of Jesus, over and over the Bible emphasizes that those old sinful habits must “die” (Luke 9:23; Rom. 6:1-4; Col. 3:1-10).
Time is required to process changes. There have been many times throughout the last two months, where I’ve had to withdraw myself and simply say, “this is got to be different now…and it’s going to be different from now on.” God doesn’t expect that we will know everything when we become Christ’s disciple. God doesn’t expect that we will be perfect when we become Christ’s disciple (if we were, we wouldn’t need His blood to cleanse us). However, God does expect continual growth in His way as disciples of Jesus otherwise, we might be operating with an old mindset not a new mindset (2 Pet. 3:18).
Keep your eyes focused on the goal. Kevin Hahn gave a great analogy recently: “Corona”-virus means “crown.” People are worried about it and you can see it on their faces—the precautions they take, the worry, the changes they’ve made. They have in their minds a goal not to get it. Disciples of Jesus ought to have it seen in their faces that they are focused on the “crown” of righteousness. We’ve changed our thinking such that we’ve set a goal and that we will obtain it no matter what! (2 Tim. 4:7-8; Jas. 1:12).