by Neil Kennedy
We’re all facing the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) together. Many people are distracting themselves with conspiracy theories, arguing over semantics of naming the virus, and assuming if their branch of politics were in charge things would be different.
None of that matters to me. What I want to know is, as a man, what is my responsibility and how do I lead my family through a pandemic?
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].
— 2 Timothy 1:7
Fear is a spirit.
More disruptive and destructive than the virus, is the pandemic of fear. If you are binge watching the news—which we have an over abundance of along with biased views—you are hearing a constant barrage of fear. As a spirit, fear can only speak through the mouths of those willing to articulate their fears. We must realize that approximately 98% of mainstream journalists do not identify as people of faith. Therefore, they do not have a base of believing in God. They’re an easy target for the spirit of fear to use as its mouthpiece. Of course, there are exceptions to my estimation but it is obvious that fear is being propagandized.
You will not fight the spirit of fear by listening to pundits who have a monetary gain by spreading the propaganda of fear.
Paul, the Apostle clearly says that God did not give us the spirit of fear. The spirit of fear causes timidity, which is capable of evil and is employed by evil to cause a paralysis of taking action. If you give yourself to fear, you will not have the courage to take action. You will cowardly crawl into a posture of self-protection.
As a man, you can’t afford to allow fear to take hold of you. You have too much at stake. You have a family that is depending on you.
How do we respond to fear?
Spiritual battles are fought in the heavens before they are determined on the earth. Therefore, our response to a spirit of fear is by rebuking it with the authorized Spirit of God.
God does give you the Spirit that distributes power, love, and sound-mind.
If you ask Him, God will give you power to live your life. (Read Acts 1:8) This power has Divine origin and is more than capable to destroy any attack by the spirit of fear. This is a true and real power. We have a series entitled, “FUEL: The Spirit Empowered Man,” that will help you understand how to empowered by the authorized power of God.
We should also respond to the spirit of fear with the Spirit of love. Love conquers all. This is a time that we should express our love not only toward our family but also toward our neighbors. You can see the contrast of those who are acting out of fear and those who are responding to this crisis with the Spirit of love. Those who are hoarding for self-preservation or financially gouging people are acting out of fear or greed.
The best response to fear is giving.
The Spirit of God will also give you the ability to stay calm during the crisis. When you are able to step back and observe the confusion, you will be well-balanced and remain in control. I can’t over emphasis the need for you to be in control of yourself and your emotions during this time. This is not a time for weakness.
Discern the time and know what you are to do. If you will ask, God will help you know what you need to do. The best rule of thumb is to choose wisdom over hype. Don’t get caught up in the hyperbole. Don’t spend time creating conspiracies. Don’t continue in conversations that are prompting the spirit of fear to have access to your mind. You must be strong and be a man.
Go to God to get your strength.
Men, this is a time that you must go to God to get your strength. When I am feeling weak or fearful, I intentionally go to my secret place, which is my office/studio, where I spend my time in prayer and praise.
- I lift my hands toward God and declare my trust and confidence in Him.
- I praise Him and show my gratitude for all that He has done for me in the past.
- I declare what I know is my purpose and my future.
- I read the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds to the day of the month.
- I continue my daily discipline of reading the Bible. I currently read through the Bible every 90-days, which only takes 30 to 45-minutes each day.
- I write down my top-ten prayer needs in full sentence form on my iPad.
- I write down ten things that I am grateful for.
- I write my action steps for the day to accomplish my purpose.
Once I have strengthened myself, I turn toward my family to strengthen them. I speak kind and comforting words. I speak declarative statements and faith-filled statements. Don’t get me wrong. I am not flowery or hokey or overtly religious sounding in my statements. I am authentic and sincere in my affirmations. They won’t believe me if I do not have genuine faith in what God will do for us.
Listen, if all of your end-time scenarios are apocalyptic, your family will not have hope for their future.
With that in mind, here are the practical action steps I am taking. Keep in mind, my morning disciplines are my spiritual action steps. Hopefully these steps will help you formulate your own action plan.
- Check list my immediate necessities.
- Create an agenda to keep working toward my purpose.
- I will not pause during this crisis, I will hit play toward my future. I am writing, taping, and learning what I need to know to accomplish my future.
- I will spend more time with my wife in the evening. We will eat home cooked meals. We will watch movies that are uplifting and light (probably Hallmark).
- I will reach for her more and hug her more often.
- I will stay in contact with my children and grandchildren, expressing my love and laughing with them.
- I will encourage my friends on phone calls and social media platforms.
- I will limit how much news that I consume.
Finally, I want to strongly encourage you to go to Psalm 91. Read it. Listen to it. Meditate on it. It will be a real source of strength for you.