In Colossians 3:1-4, we read, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
Today, upon opening my web browser, a certain article came up for recommended reading. The title was a quote from within the article: “I Do Not Trust People in the Same Way and I Don’t Think I Ever Will Again.”
The image that accompanied the article was of a woman in a paper mask—you know, the kind Dr. Fauci says you will have to wear until the end of time—with her hand over her head like she’s about to fall over backward onto a fainting couch, just at the thought of having to go back to work again. It’s a melodramatic presentation, but this is supposed to be a serious article about how: “Workers are really, really not ready for offices to reopen.”
The article begins, “As COVID-19 vaccinations continue to run ahead of schedule, many workplaces that went fully remote last year are starting to set timelines for bringing people back to the office—and their employees are not happy.”
Of course not. Their employees have now gotten used to never having to change out of their PJ’s in order to do their jobs. They’re able to choose their own hours. They’re saving money on fuel, which now costs more than before the COVID lock-downs, and they have not had the hassle of that morning commute and the drive at five. If they can get the work done from home, why go back?
But given the title of the article, there’s another, more major factor at play—Americans are less trusting of one another than they have ever been. The reason they do not want to go back to work is less because they like working at home and more because they do not like people.
For more than the past year, we have been infected with so much rhetoric about suspecting your neighbor of being a potential killer—whether the chatter has been about COVID or police brutality or white supremacy or those dreaded Trump-voting Christian Nationalists or churches with teaching that turns young men into hunters of Asian women.
We’ve been told, “Don’t leave your house, or you might kill grandma,” which means perfectly healthy people who leave their homes must be suspected of spreading deadly contagions. Last year, I shared a story on Twitter about going next door and checking on my neighbor, and no kidding, the majority of comments were berating me for not loving my neighbor and putting them in danger.
We’ve been told, “Love your neighbor by wearing a mask,” which means people who aren’t wearing masks are vicious, hateful, and selfish. Even if you get the vaccine, you still have to wear a mask. To foster fear and force compliance, here are today’s daily numbers on exactly how many people are getting infected and dying. Better wear two masks. Take a picture of yourself and post it on social media to show everyone how good you are.
Mainstream news is deliberately manipulating stories so you will think governors who open their states and do not require masks are reckless, conniving liars. Pastors who open their churches are a menace to society, and even some of their fellow Christians are perfectly okay with throwing these pastors to the dogs in the interest of “public health.”
We’ve been taught by Critical Race Theory that racism and sexism are everywhere all the time. There’s no question of, “Did racism or sexism happen?” Rather, racism and sexism are happening right now. It’s that box of pancakes. It’s that voting law that was just passed. It’s the white guy in the cubicle next to you. Just put on your mask and these Woke glasses, and you will see it all, too.
We live in a culture where everyone is made suspicious of everyone else. So it is of little wonder why someone says, “I do not trust people in the same way, and I don’t think I ever will again.” Such is the hopeless hatefulness of the world around us.
Christian, do you want to be like this? Does it sound like a healthy state of being? Do you want to be the kind of person who cannot ever trust anyone and is always suspicious of one another? I certainly hope that is not your desire, for our Lord has told us what loving one another is truly supposed to look like.
Colossians 3:12-13 goes on to say: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
In light of the fact that Jesus died for us on the cross for our sins, that by faith in Him we have been forgiven our sins, we are to have a heart of forgiveness. Be gracious toward one another, not suspicious of one another. The Bible says that those who do not believe the gospel will constantly foster evil suspicions (1 Timothy 6:4). We are to be above that.
Philippians 2:14-16 says, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life.”
Listen, I can complain with the best of them. But when you have bitterness in your heart as you see the world has, you demonstrate that you do not trust God is sovereign over each and every circumstance. If you know that He reigns and that all things are under His feet, then what do you have to complain about?
Colossians 3:14-15 continues, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
Compassion. Kindness. Humility. Meekness. Patience. Thankfulness. Boy, that does not sound at all like our present culture, does it? Yet that is to be the attitude of our hearts daily before God. As we are told in 1 John 3:16, “By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
So, dear Christian, if you have been raised from death to life in Christ, seek the things above where Christ is. You will look like a stranger in this world, but that is a good thing. This world is coming into judgment. Your final destination is another world—with Christ in glory.
In a world where everyone is taught to hate everyone, love. Let the goodness of God in Christ Jesus fill your heart, that it may fill your interactions with others, the way you live today, and the hope you have for tomorrow.