Allow me to take on a controversial contemporary topic today. If you read my posts on a regular basis, please hear me out before you scroll past this post: If you are like me, you hate the idea of having to be confined behind a mask as you go out in public. How do you know what to do in the midst of this pandemic and the spike in cases that we are seeing in our communities. The government is mandating them, but stores have to carry out the mandate. We struggle with this because we say it violates our constitutional rights. We are in a cultural dilemma, we have those who are terrified to get the virus, and those who are wishing they could get the virus and be over with it. How do we respond. I am not going to answer that question, but let me give you some things to consider in regard to putting why we may struggle with wearing a mask, and what I should consider about wearing one.
1. One of our struggles is in the area of submitting to our government. Submission in America is a difficult concept to follow. After over 30 plus years of pre and post marital counseling the area of most concern is that of “wives submitting to their husbands” The word found in Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 for “submission” is the same word used in Ephesians 5, and I Peter 3 for what a wife is to do to her own husband. It is also the same word that is used in Ephesians 5:21 where we are admonished to “submit ourselves to one another in the fear of God.” Each of the usages of this verb is in the imperative tense which makes it a command, and means “to place our will under the authority of another.” Like it or not we are to submit to those placed in authority over us. What does that look like? I think in each relationship it looks a little different. but the question becomes how are we going to submit to the Word of God, not the authorities
2. What makes submission “easier” for wives is how a husband is to submit to his wife. According to both Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3 a husband who submits to his wife learns to love her and nurture her as special. That love makes it “easier” to submit to her husband understanding that his leadership is under scrutiny by God and he is responsible to demonstrate the same love toward her that Christ showed to the church. Does the state really love us as they should? You can answer that question for yourself. Remember that when Paul wrote Romans 13 and when Peter wrote 1 Peter both were under Roman rule, and they were persecuting the church. Submission is always difficult because people take advantage of our willingness to place ourselves under their authority. Yet the only Biblical reason to reject that authority, that God has established is when the two kingdoms (Kingdom of God and the kingdom of man) comes into conflict. (Acts 4:19-20)
3. My thinking is not to wear a mask because the government says to (even though they are), my thinking is really directed to Jesus’ command “to love God and Love one another.” Is it truly my desire, to do all I can to make those around me “feel” as safe as I can. Genesis 4 reminds me that I am my brother’s keeper, and 1 Corinthians 13 reminds me that the greatest gift we can give to another person is love. Jesus, himself said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another” (John 13:35). My goal in life is to allow people to know that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, and in so doing I might earn the privilege of sharing with them the gospel which will bring eternal hope and perspective to them.
I know that some people cannot wear a mask because it creates a health risk, or for other reasons. Biblically, we see that each believer needs to answer for themselves how they can best mitigate the risk for others, and demonstrate to them the love of Christ. I am reminded that 1 Corinthians 6:12 says, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient:” While I don’t want to wear a mask, It is my biblical responsibility to consider how I can effectively demonstrate my love for those around me, and those in my community, and have the liberty to share with them the wonder of the gospel and the salvation offered to them through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This may mean that I have to do something that I don’t want to do . . . put on a mask! As you struggle through the battle that is going on in your mind, don’t battle with governmental mandates, rather consider how you can BEST demonstrate your “love for God and love for others” and as a follower of Jesus Christ support your actions Biblically.