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Tips for Thriving (not just surviving) Under Quarantine

Doug Bender

March 24, 2020 | 3 minute read

Everyone from the president to Instagram Influencers and YouTubers are talking about personal hygiene and being forced to stay at home. But did you know the same practices that help contain the coronavirus can also lead to important spiritual breakthroughs? Here is how keeping clean, staying healthy, and living second combine to make all of us stronger physically and spiritually.


Avoid Close Contact: Time to Recharge 

I’m an extreme extrovert. I’m one of those people that would be happy to be out every day and every night. Even now that I’m married and have four kids, I’m still out way more than average. I just now have small little humans tagging along with me. So while this whole situation may be an introvert’s dream, it could be an extrovert’s nightmare. Here’s how to be alone and recharge without being lonely.

Meditate with God: Many faiths have identified the calming and healing power of mediation, but for those who follow Jesus the real power comes not with emptying your mind, but with filling it with God. While Jesus is famous for speaking to huge crowds, healing countless sick, and basically being mobbed by throngs of people for years on end, he prepared himself for this work by first being alone with God. If you’ve never read the story you can check it out here [link to Luke 4:1-13]. But basically, Jesus took 40 days to do a spiritual “self-quarantine” where he set aside distractions, talked with God, and meditated on the Bible. He understood that even those who spend their lives surrounded by people need to take time to be alone with God. So count this as an invitation to meditate with God.


Wash Your Hands: Your Body is Special

Confession: before the coronavirus I’ve basically never washed my hands for the full twenty seconds like they’re telling us to do. Don’t judge. I know you didn’t either. People keep getting on press conferences to tell us that the handwashing guidelines haven’t changed. We were always supposed to wash them for twenty seconds. Like never before, our health may be on the line when we decide how (and if) to wash our hands. Why is our physical health so important?

When we commit our lives to Jesus and begin following him, we become Jesus’s physical presence here in this world. When God wants to speak, he uses our voices. When God wants to help the needy, he uses our hands. When God wants to bring his love to strangers, he uses our feet to carry it. So next time you think, “Well, I’m not hurting anyone else,” remember that living Second means we know our bodies are meant as conduits of God’s love for the world. Staying healthy enables you to do just that.


Stay Home if You’re Sick: Think of Others First

Going along with my overt extrovertness, I don’t often stay put even when I’m sick. I might take a day to try and sleep it off, but I’m out of the house as soon as physically possible. But now even being in contact with a sick person sends the President of Canada, the entire Brooklyn Nets team, and America’s weatherman, Al Roker, into self-quarantine. What is going on!?!?

Here’s the real lesson that I’m learning, and I hope you do, too: think of others first.  Maybe you aren’t so concerned with getting sick, but plenty of other people are. Others have compromised immune systems. Others are too old, too sick, or too weak to fight such an aggressive sickness. Maybe you’ll just get the sniffles, but it could put others in the hospital or worse. To live Second means we think less about what we want and more about what others need.


Small Groups or No Groups at All: Regroup in New Ways 

Chances are that by the time I can even get this article published more states will demand that you stay home and avoid any kind of social gathering. My own state of Pennsylvania is currently surrounded by Ohio, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey, all with stay-at-home orders. I know it’s a matter of time for my own state. So does this mean the end of social interactions? Of connection? Of ever getting out of my pajamas? No. And here’s a great way to continue to tap into the spiritual power of gathering with others when you can’t gather with others.

Online Discussion Groups. Here’s where we got real practical for you. We’ve put together a four film I Am Second online discussion guide series to help you tackle anxiety, find peace, and stay connected. It’s simple. You hop on to whatever group call tech you prefer (i.e. FaceTime), watch a film together, read a passage from the Bible, and talk through some real-life issues. It’ll keep you connected and spiritually strong. Get access to these and more resources at and get started today.


So go wash your hands, have some bonus God-time, self-quarantine if you need to, and find new ways to engage with the people in your life. You’ll find that staying put and staying hygienic can do both your body and your spirit some real good. 


Doug Bender

Doug Bender

Doug Bender is an I Am Second writer and small groups coach. He developed many of the small group tools found at and has coached churches, organizations, and individuals to use I Am Second groups to share the message of Jesus with their friends and family. He also works with I Am Second's parent organization, e3 Partners, as a church planter and pastor in countries such as Ethiopia, Colombia, and the US. Doug and his wife, Catherine, have four children: Bethany, Samuel, Isabella, and Jesse.

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