Fighting About Covid-19
So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Acts 17:17
I got into a fight with a friend about Covid-19 recently. As a physician, medicine is a large part of my life and of course, I think I have it all figured out. I always see my position as completely logical, so anyone who disagrees with me then, is obviously wrong. Others, of course, feel quite strongly about their point of view as well. Because so much of our lives are impacted by the virus right now, it’s bound to come up in conversation and because I’m right about everything, I can’t keep my mouth shut. So, I got into a spirited discussion.
This is pretty normal. Whatever is important to us and whatever is going on in our lives, naturally comes out in conversation. We talk about our work, our families, our pets, and our hobbies. Whether anyone is interested or not, we share our opinions on anything that’s of significance to us.
The apostle Paul did the same thing. In today’s passage, while in Athens, he went to the synagogue and to the marketplace talking with anyone who would listen. The Athenians apparently loved this kind of thing. Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new (Acts 17:21). Because Paul’s faith was so important to him and because he was obedient to God, he simply talked about Jesus wherever he went. His life passion naturally flowed out of him into the lives of those around him. If anyone was interested, Paul invested himself. If they weren’t, Paul let them be.
The measure of what was important to Paul was in what flowed out of him. The same is true of us. What do we engage with others about? Do we inquire when our neighbors are struggling? Do we ask meaningful questions? Do we share what God has done for us? Or, do we argue about Covid-19 and politics? I’m not saying Covid-19 isn’t important. I am saying that as Christians, we have more important things that should also be flowing out of us. If we have an authentic faith that has transformed us, then that will naturally spill out of our lives into the lives of those around us. Some will be interested, and some won’t. That’s Ok. Our job is simply to keep focused on what is truly important.