Would Jesus Wear a Mask?
So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man. Acts 24:16
I don’t really like wearing a mask. Now that I’ve had Covid-19 and am immune to it for some time at least, I honestly probably don’t need one. It’s inconvenient and uncomfortable and in my mind, I shouldn’t have to wear one.
The other day though, I met an 80-year-old patient who was seeing me for shortness of breath. She’d recently been diagnosed with Covid-19 and her story made me think. She’d been careful to avoid exposure to the world, but two weeks prior to her diagnosis, she went to the funeral of her sister, who’d died from Covid-19. At the funeral, those in attendance were asked to wear masks, but half of the family refused. A few days later, this woman developed symptoms. Now, becoming shorter of breath, she was scared. She’d just buried her sister and was worried that she was next. Understandably, she was hurt and angry at those who callously disregarded the request to wear masks at the funeral.
I’m sure those in attendance who refused had their reasons. They were exercising their right to not wear the mask. They didn’t (and I agree with this) want the government commanding them to do something and so they just weren’t going to do it.
Sometimes though, I have to realize that it’s not about me and my rights. Sometimes it’s about doing what’s right for others. Even if I’m immune, that 80-year-old at the grocery store doesn’t know that. If she knows me, and knows that I claim to be a Christian, but I refuse to wear a mask, yes, I’ve exercised my right not to wear one, but I’ve also done a disservice to the cause of Christ.
As Americans, we demand the right to live how we want. As followers of Christ though, like Paul, we must strive to live in good conscience before God and man. If exercising my right to do or not do a thing is offensive to those around me, then I need to reconsider how important it is, not to me, but to God’s kingdom.
Would Jesus or Paul wear masks if they were here today? I think they would in some situations and would not in others. I think they would obey the law inasmuch as it didn’t contradict God’s law and I think they would be considerate of those around them, worrying more about the cause of Christ than about their own rights. This isn’t just about masks. This is about how I live before God and man.