COVID-19, Privilege, and What Keeps Us from Living in Love {Ep 105}


In recent weeks during COVID-19, we have seen acts of extreme and ordinary self-sacrifice. Doctors and nurses are working around the clock and putting themselves in harm’s way. Parents are teaching their children while trying to keep their jobs. Single people are living in isolation in order to protect their neighbors. Organizations like the conservative Christian Samaritan’s Purse and the liberal Christian Cathedral of St. John the Divine are working together to care for those in need. Crisis can bring out the very best of human nature. 

COVID-19 and Privilege

But in recent weeks, we have also seen extreme and ordinary selfishness and injustice. Scam companies are selling fake products. Children in impoverished communities have little access to schooling. Our social divisions by race, ethnicity, income level, and education are exposed as a disproportionate number of people of color die from COVID-19 and wealthy people can use their means to protect themselves more readily from infection. 

Philippians 2:1-4 offers a vision of an ideal way of living in a time of COVID-19 when privilege often divides. It paints a picture of encouragement, comfort, sympathy, and mutual care. “Consider others better than yourselves,” Paul admonishes. “Do nothing from selfish ambition.” 

It sounds lovely. But living it out feels nearly impossible.

COVID-19 and Human Nature

In today’s episode of the Love is Stronger Than Fear podcast, I talk about how the COVID-19 crisis has laid bare the most glorious aspects of our human nature—our ability to care for one another with selfless love. It has also laid bare the worst aspects of our human nature—not only individual selfishness but collective injustice that divides whole groups of the population from one another. 

What keeps us from living out of love? I talk today about how distraction, fear, and injustice, all keep us from experiencing love and from loving our neighbors. 

It is stunningly beautiful to see the self-sacrifice of so many people during this time. It is heart-wrenchingly awful to see the way our social divisions and privilege lead to greater suffering and separation. My hope and prayer are that we would see these problems more clearly so that we can make choices together to turn away from fear and toward love.

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Podcast Show Notes

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Hi, I’m Amy Julia.

I write about faith, family, disability, and privilege.

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