We must perceive our current suffering in the context of hope. A hope that has been given to us by God that if we “indeed suffer with him, ..we may also be glorified together” and that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose”.
Our emotional state is determined by where we allow our focus to dwell. Jesus urges us to seek first the Kingdom and promises that the necessities of life will be provided. In these uncertain times, I encourage you to fix your attention on the calling of God rather than falling into a toxic cycle of worry and distress.
Uncontrolled Worry and Distress
This uncontrolled worry and distress is showing itself in the behaviour of “panic buying”. This is certainly an ugly side of an individualistic society. People are stocking up on food supplies, leaving little for our vulnerable populations. These people are feeling increasingly insecure and therefore feel the need to control their situation on a very drastic level. Our brains are designed to keep us safe and so we will do things that keep us safe even if it puts other people in danger. However, we need to slow down and think through the consequences of our decisions. It is truly a time to be deeply reflective and contemplate what values we want to live by.
Reactive or Responsive?
What we can do though is to practice being a responsive person rather than a reactive person:
Reactive Person – Is someone who acts before they think
Responsive Person – Is someone who thinks before they act.
A reactive person often gets caught up in their thoughts and feelings and ends up in a distressed emotional state. These people are driven by their circumstances and are often left disconnected from their values.
A responsive person is someone who allows their values to guide their actions. These people understand that they alone hold the responsibility to build the life they want and are NOT controlled by their circumstances.