Resilience was one of the predominant character traits of the early Christians. They called it being steadfast. For these early Christians being ‘resilient’ meant being able to keep going despite set backs, discouragements, betrayals, unforeseen circumstances, lack of energy, motivation, and resources. Like a weary hiker looking down a long road that leads to the mountain range they must walk over, being resilient in life means putting one foot in front of the other, and then doing it again, and again, and again, and so on. God knows that today, in what many are describing as “Post-Christendom” (and the resilient among us prefer to think of as Pre-Christendom) to be resilient is to live with a purpose, to stay focused, to live for others, and to strive toward a good, honourable, goal. With so many reasons to lose sight of the true purpose of life the tendency is to be tricked into believing that life right now is too hard. But the truth be told – people need to know how to be more resilient. Leaders especially need to be resilient right now. Churches assuredly need to be resilient at this time. With the recent interference into churches by government through the measures they said was “to keep people safe” — it has actually depleted people’s ability and willingness to be resilient! Here’s what leaders, people, and churches can do about it.
Although we are all created to bear the image of God, we are also fallen, which means that the image of God in us has been marred. Our fallen nature distorts how some people worship and therefore live. Every day we see the result of those who worship a god whom they believe is a war-mongering, violent, heavenly sultan, when they murderously enforce their religious beliefs. This sad reality highlights the maxim – you become like what you worship. But in stark contrast, everyday we also see the result of those who worship the God who is loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, kind, and generous. Thus, these worshipers care for the infirmed, uphold justice, give generously to charities, volunteer their time and expertise, and spend their annual leave undertaking aid projects in impoverished regions of the globe. They are worshiping the immutable God is always loving, always good, always just.