As the idiom says, “one man’s loss is another man’s gain”. As a pandemic spreads, many lose their loved ones, sources of income, and sense of peace. But at the same time, there are always opportunists seeking to gain from the paranoia and suffering of others. Christians are opportunists amidst suffering, but in not of the greedy under-handed ways of the world. Christians use the suffering of others as on opportunity for good works.
The closing exhortation to small handfuls of Christians scattered on a rather worldly island is of profound relevance to handfuls of Christians that God has scattered throughout the suffering of this world.
And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.Titus 3:14 (ESV)
Earlier in Titus a broader explanation is given of how Christians can do much good when others are only intent on spreading rumours, fear, and sensationalism. Although the context is that of doctrinal purity and unity, the principles apply well to us who desire to show some productive goodness when so many are surrounded by fear and uncertainty.
The saying [Titus 3:3-7] is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.Titus 3:8-10 (ESV)
But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him,
Here are therefore some guidelines in being an opportunist for good works in a time of very real fear and suffering infused with paranoia and sensationalism.
- Establish the Gospel message and your belief in God as your stability during hard times
- Commit to be godly and to do many people much good so many are benefited from you being part of their world
- Reduce your exposure to rumours and the opinions of the masses
- If a friend is too deeply engaged in such rumours and deeply affected by all that is doing the rounds, warn him of the danger and bring him back to point 1–3.
- If you cannot rescue people from the social media spirals into paranoia, fake news, and a love for the sensational, give up that fight, and rather get back to insisting on point 1 and devoting yourself to point 2.
In a world of uncertainty, fear, and untruths, be an opportunist for the Gospel of eternal peace and be an opportunist for good works that benefit many.