Have you prayed about it as much as you have talked about it? For me, that question was on the topic of wearing masks.
I admit that when I read this question in an email I received a few weeks ago it convicted me. Guilty of joining in conversations about my displeasure of wearing masks, I realized I never prayed about it to God. I began praying and asking God to reveal to me what He would like me to know so that I could respond appropriately. God has revealed a lot to me these past few weeks through His word, wise counsel, and the Holy Spirit. My heart’s desire is to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and understanding that I may walk worthy of Him, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work, and to increase in my knowledge of Him.
What I Learned
When it comes to wearing masks or not, whether it’s the loving thing to do or not, these are the truths God revealed to me through His word. As a Christian, I am to:
- be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6); to fear not, for He is with me (Isaiah 41:10) (Don’t buy into the fear)
- put others above myself and to look out for the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4) (Keep my distance)
- let my light shine before men that it will glorify my Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16) (Let my actions glorify God)
- not be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2); I am to abhor what is evil, cling to what is good (Romans 12:9) (Don’t look or act like the world)
- be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord (Romans 12:10-11) (Edify and encourage others)
- rejoice always, pray constantly and give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) (Do all three – ALL THE TIME)
- God hates lying (Proverbs 6:17) and Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44) (What we’re told about wearing masks is a lie)
When I was asked what I thought Jesus would do, and in the same sentence told He would probably wear a mask, I was reminded that not only did he not wear a mask, Jesus laid His hands on the leprous – those no one else would touch – and healed them. His apostles did likewise. Not in fear, not wearing masks or gloves, but in confidence in God and hope, not in this age, but in the age to come. They spoke to those no one would speak to; they healed those others ignored.
The Bible is full of ways I am to live as a Christian. First and foremost I am to love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. I am to act and behave in ways that separate me from the world and I can only do this because of the shed blood of Jesus!
But the world doesn’t know this. The cross is foolishness to the world. And because of this, they are anxious, full of fear, selfish, proud, loving what is evil, and hating what is good.
Jane came by our house Saturday to buy our roof-top tent. She is 68 years old and was carrying her mask but never put it on. Over the hour and a half that she was at our house, inspecting the tent and then Richard installing it on her vehicle, we talked about her spiritual beliefs. Like I used to think, she believes there is a “higher power” out there but not necessarily God. She thinks Jesus is a good teacher but that there are many ways to get to heaven. She believes there are too many “good people” out there and that just because they don’t believe in God, they would be cast into hell forever.
Silently praying while she was speaking, I then got to share the full beauty of the gospel of Jesus with her. That God is a holy God and sin separates us from Him, no matter how “good” anyone is. And because Jesus came and lived a perfect life, died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sin, was buried for three days then defeated death and is now alive and seated at the right hand of God – that because of this, I told her, “the Bible says that anyone who confesses with their mouth and believes this in their heart, they will be saved! And it’s for that reason,” I said, “that Jesus Himself said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”
Jane did not confess Jesus as Lord that day but I continue to pray for her. I know that God brought her to our house that day to hear the gospel. It is my hope she saw a family not living in fear but with joy and love, respectful of her space, confident in the Word of God, and willing to share the hope of salvation with her. And I don’t believe she would have seen or heard any of this if we were all wearing masks.
Today when I, or my family, walk into a store or a restaurant, we walk in with a smile on our face, make eye contact with people, and are mindful of their space and ours. The results have been astounding. We have engaged in more conversations with strangers this past week than we have the past six months. People are friendly and complimentary, thankful to see a smile on someone’s face. I hope that more of God’s people will let the light of Jesus shine through and that more gospel opportunities present themselves because of it!