Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples. John 13:35 (NLT)

 Warning: You may not like this

Respect. That was the writing prompt last week for the weekly Five Minute Fridays link-up. I struggled with it because my mind immediately went to the disappointment I’ve experienced while reading social media posts from my Christian brothers and sisters. I’ve been hearing both overtly and passively negative comments about government public safety mandates related to COVID-19.

In the grand scheme of things, I must believe there are many more Christians who are weary of hearing the naysayers than there are naysayers.

“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Matthew 12:34, Luke 6:45)

It seems many Christians have forgotten about the principle of authority (1 Peter 2:13-16, Titus 3:1-2) and the commandment to love your brother [and sister] as yourself (Matt 22:35-40, Mark 12:28-34, Luke 10:27 ). There seems to be dwindling respect for both of these biblical instructions the longer COVID-19 hangs around. Yes, it’s a global pandemic that seems to have paused in the US. Maybe we should start working together against IT instead of each other.

God repeats when He wants to get our attention, so let’s pay attention

This is the harsh reality that I’ve wanted to post on for some time now, but I was afraid of what others might think (I know that shouldn’t matter). Then I heard two trusted pastors preach on it this week, and more from trusted online resources. These repeated messages encouraged me to obey the promptings on my heart, so here goes.

This is what I see; the virus that has taken over 150,000 Americans lives is being weaponized for political gain. This is not a political issue. It is a public health issue. A medical issue caught in the crosshairs of our society. But is it also being used very effectively as a divide and conquer strategy of the enemy’s design? Hmmm…think about that for a minute.

This isn't forever UN graphic.

People want to cling to their right to be mask free, forgetting that we surrendered our rights at the moment of salvation when we became citizens of heaven. Let’s pursue obedience and respect instead of our personal rights.

When did we stop believing masks were a way to prevent infection?

My Christian brothers and sisters who berate those in authority over the issue of wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, opening schools, and the economy I feel are showing great disrespect for everyone, not just the politicians or party they don’t support (and that’s not ok either).

What does this behavior tell all of the front line medical and support people who studied hard and work even harder every day to save lives? What’s most important, I believe it shows great disrespect for God’s design.

We are supposed to show we are Christians by our love.

People should see Jesus in us (John 13:35). I’m saddened by this defiance of the government’s authority to implement public safety protocols that keep everyone safe, and hopefully end this virus. It’s not okay.

It’s only my observation, but this behavior and negative rhetoric not only says you don’t respect the authority of God but add to it the complete abandonment of loving your neighbor. And if it gathers more support, may delay the virus’s departure.

Living today takes collective sacrifice. We ALL need to wear masks now, or stay home and stay safe. One’s deeds speak loud enough on their own (1 John 3:16-18). Going out without a mask says, “I don’t care about anyone else but me.”

Since it’s about you, try thinking about it this way

  • Would you like your surgeon to wear a mask on the day of your child’s surgery?
  • Would you like the doctor to check her temperature? To wash her hands?
  • Would you like the instruments sterilized and the room sanitized?

I’m guessing the answer to all of those questions would be YES.

Nesting dolls with masks on from unsplash

I think anyone can do it. Give it a try. But if you can’t wear a mask, or don’t want to, do the rest of us a favor and stay home. Either one works.

We are living in what is probably the greatest opportunity to let Jesus shine. So let Him shine brightly in how you love your neighbor. Let Him shine in your obedience to His word, and in your respect for the authority under which He has placed us, and remember that God heads that list.

God is in complete control today and every day

Not to worry, my friends ( I hope you still are my friends). God is still in control. Just pray and, in the meantime, please put a lock on your lips and thumbs (Psalm 141:3) until God changes your heart.

And let us show we are Christians by our love.

Dear Father in Heaven, Soften our hearts so that we sacrificially release our rights to comfort and company in these challenging days ahead. We know you care for us. Help us to let go of personal wants in deference to collective needs. We thank you in advance for those professionals you have gifted with knowledge, intelligence, and skills to develop a vaccine that will end this virus and protect us in the future. We thank you for the preventive protocols we already know and have easy access to, that keep us safe while we wait. Lord, free us from self-interest. Teach us humility and help us to find your lovingkindness in our souls so that unbelievers and believers alike will see you in our words and deeds. In Jesus’ name. Amen

 

Thanks to   at Five Minute Fridays Link-Up for pushing me to listen and write.

You can also find me this week on:
Inspire Me Mondays Link-Up with Anita Ojeda