What To Do ?

What To Do ?

"To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate"

I’ve been asked repeatedly by church members on whether or not they ought to get the COVID-19 vaccination. What follows is an attempt to help people decide what course to take. I want to be clear at the outset; reading this will not point you in one direction or the other. It isn’t my aim to either encourage or discourage vaccination. My goal is to help those finding it difficult to MAKE A DECISION to do just that – Make a decision and follow through on it so that they are no longer pinned on the horns of a dilemma.

While the movement against vaccinations in general had been growing before COVID hit, those considering the issue now weren’t part of the anti-vax movement. Their hesitancy today stems mostly from a concern about the efficacy of the vaccine, potential side effects, and the long-term consequences of the treatment. Since the vaccine was rushed into service, the usual testing regimen applied to new medicines was greatly abbreviated. Only emergency approval was granted so the treatment could be employed in combating what was assumed to be a dangerous epidemic. Standard FDA approval is still a long way off. (EMERGENCY approval by the FDA was given and the Comirnaty (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA), previously known as Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, for prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older was given at the end of August. Other COVID-19 vaccines are still in use under the Emergency protocol.)

While situations are unique to each individual, some common themes keep surfacing among those who’ve consulted me for advice.

  • They are being pressed by family and friends to be vaccinated
  • They are being pressed by family and friends to NOT be vaccinated
  • Their employer or school requires vaccination
  • They have read reports of the danger of the vaccine
  • They have heard the vaccine is “the mark of the beast”

While proper deliberation on such an important issues must be done, I don’t believe God wants His people to be anxious as they find themselves stuck and unable to reach a conclusion. Certainly the options are clear -
  • Be vaccinated
  • Don’t be vaccinated
  • Wait to be vaccinated

Each person needs to decide what the Spirit is leading them to do, settle into that decision, and be done vacillating back and forth between different opinions. We ought not be swayed one way Monday, another Tuesday, then back again Wednesday, based on the latest pronouncements of “experts” who change their views according to the latest research or political wind. We keep hearing we need to be influenced by “the science” but the authorities we look to, to decipher the statistics don’t agree on what it means or the policies we ought to follow. In the vacuum of trustworthy data, politics moves into take charge.

In the midst of all this confusion and uncertainty, Christians have a trustworthy Authority to look to for guidance. God will direct us as we ask Him to.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5–6
Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
Psalm 62:8
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3
Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.
Proverbs 16:3
Wisdom is found in seeking the counsel of qualified and trusted sources. But once that counsel is secured and weighed, the final step is to commit all things to prayer, asking God to guide you into the decision HE wants you to make.

In Philippians 4:6–7, the Apostle Paul provides marvelous guidance for how to decide when options are before us.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Rather than being anxious over what to do, earnestly ask God what course to take, trusting that He will indeed answer. That answer will be made evident by looking for where His peace lies. Among the options before you, which seems the direction you’re to go? It’s really a matter of stepping away from anxiety into peace.

Speaking honestly, there are some decisions we come to in life where all options carry a measure of unrest. Walking by faith means trusting God and that always includes a measure of risk. In those decisions where it’s difficult to discern God’s peace, which is fraught with the least among to anxiety? That’s the direction we’re to go because we’re replacing anxiety with trusting God.

So, should you get the vaccine, not get it, or wait? Ask God to show you what He wants you to do, then do it. What he does NOT want you to do is stay stuck between those options.

If He tells you to get vaccinated, do it.

If He tells you not to, then make the decision not to and stop agonizing over whether or not you should.

If He says to wait, define what criteria you need before moving ahead with being vaccinated. Don’t leave that unspecified. You must identify what is holding you back that when if and when it is clear, you will know clearly whether to be vaccinated or not.

Again, the important issue is to move out from indecision into a Spirit-inspired conclusion.
If I may use atrocious grammar - “Don’t vacillate on the vaccinate.”

One Last Thing …

The dilemma facing Christians today is living with one another while having various opinions on the vaccine. It’s akin to what the Apostle Paul wrote about in Romans 14; the eating of meat sacrificed to idols. I encourage you to read that chapter yourself. For a fuller explanation for how Christians ought to live with varying convictions, see my study here.