Our beliefs don’t impact the truth; they impact our actions.Michelle Wrigley
Disclaimer: I am not recommending wearing/not wearing a mask. I am simply talking about why and when I choose to wear/not wear them. We each have to make our own decision about if/when we wear a mask and should not judge those who choose differently than us. This is simply my viewpoint.
I don’t like having to wear a mask to go into public buildings. I truly despise having to put one on, but I do it anyway. I go to as few places as possible that require a mask be worn—I put it on as I get to the door and take it off as soon as I’m out the door. I decided to examine the core of why I don’t like wearing the mask and the angst it always causes me. Setting aside political reasons and controversial reports on its efficacy, I went searching for the core of my “why.” Spoiler alert: The answer is faith.
The results of my inner search to discover why I have such a distaste for wearing masks revealed that I don’t like wearing a mask because I have NO faith in it. I have zero confidence that wearing the mask will make even the slightest difference in whether or not I get sick or make someone else sick. And so I don’t like wearing it and only wear it when I have to. And here is the first correlation between masks and faith: Some people reject Christ because they have no faith that He will actually make a difference in their lives. They don’t have confidence in a God they cannot see—a God whose existence defies empirical evidence. This is why we must bring proof in the form of our relationship with Christ. Knowing about someone is completely different than truly knowing someone. So we must tell others about Jesus, but also introduce them via our actions. If we tell them about Jesus then act in a way that does not honor Him, then our testimony is confusing and potentially detrimental. We aren’t perfect; we will make mistakes, and that is when we can humbly discuss forgiveness and restoration.
Correlation 2: We are asked to wear masks to protect others or to make them feel safer in the presence of strangers who may be carrying a virus and not know it. God asks us to go into the world and share Him with everyone because He is the cure and we are all sick (some people just don’t know they are sick). So if I am required to wear a physical mask to connect with both fellow believers and people who don’t know Christ, then I wear the mask. Sharing Jesus with others is how we protect them from the virulent assault of evil. For if we truly believe in Jesus, then we know that He is the only safe refuge in any storm. His armor is the clothing we need to wear every day, and He is the only guaranteed permanent presence in our lives.
Correlation 3: The truth of the effectiveness of the mask does is not dependent on my belief in whether or not it works. It will either block a virus or it won’t. The truth of God’s existence is not dependent upon my belief in Him. He either IS or is not. Truth is not fluid (our perceptions are fluid, but truth is constant). God is either real or He isn’t, the mask either works or it doesn’t. Neither of these truths depend on you or me. But our beliefs do impact our actions. If we believe wholeheartedly that a mask will protect us from a virus, we will be judicious in wearing it. If we believe that God is real, that He loves us, and sent His Son to die for us so that we could spend eternity with Him in heaven and live our lives on earth filled with His Spirit, then we will choose to honor God with our lives. Our beliefs don’t impact the truth; they impact our actions.
When I Choose To Wear A Mask & Why:
The above correlations have changed my perspective on why I wear a mask. It has changed my attitude so hopefully the next time I put on a mask, I don’t also put on annoyance paired with an internal roll of my eyes.
I wear a mask in buildings where they post a sign asking patrons to wear a mask. Why? Because it is their business I am entering, and they have the right to ask me to do this. But also because Jesus tells us to respect those in authority. Even if we don’t agree with them, we should be respectful of their rules because we wish to honor God. Now, obviously, if they are asking us to do something that dishonors God, then we should respectfully decline and take whatever measure we must to ensure we are being good stewards and ambassadors for Christ. I can see no way in which wearing a mask dishonors Jesus, so I must honor Him by respectfully obeying the requests of business owners who ask me to wear a mask in their buildings.
I wear a mask when I am in close contact with those in the “at risk” categories due to age or health (unless they specifically release me from wearing one). I do this because I love them, and if there is even the slightest chance that wearing a mask with help protect them, then I should be quite willing to do that. If by wearing the mask, I can give someone a hug and provide a bit of human connection in this socially distanced world, then I will gladly wear the mask for them. In the same way, when I am with those who don’t know Christ, if there is even the slightest chance that I can offer the protection and comfort that Christ provides through my words or actions, then I need to say or do those things that honor God and point them to the Savior of the world. For in doing so, I may plant or water a seed that one day will sprout and become fruitful and abundant.
So, I choose to wear a mask at specific times, not to conform to the world or because I am afraid of getting sick, but to honor the teachings of Jesus. I will focus on being filled with gratitude because I have the opportunity to learn and grow from the COVID experience and will be even more grateful when masks are no longer required in order to enjoy day-to-day activities.
God bless you all, may Christ rule in our hearts and lives.