Over the last several months, I’ve had some people ask me why I’m allowing fear of COVID19 to force me to wear a facemask. Admittedly, early on there was some fear motivating me just because there were so many unknowns…how deadly is this virus?…how does it spread?…could facemasks be at least somewhat helpful in slowing its spread? However, of late, I can honestly say that it’s not fear that’s motivating me, but care…care for the health of others partially, but, more importantly, care for the souls of others. I keep being drawn back to the words of St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (ESV),
19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
This passage has tremendous relevance in the current situation in my relationships with family, friends, neighbors and, especially, those who are not yet followers of Jesus as Savior. I will do all I can under the power and direction of the Holy Spirit through the precious Word of God to lead as many as possible to salvation in Jesus. If wearing a facemask can enable me to start a conversation about Jesus that I wouldn’t have otherwise, then I’ll wear it. If not wearing a facemask can enable me to start a conversation about Jesus that I wouldn’t have otherwise, then I won’t.
FEAR is NOT dictating my life. I’m not fearful of COVID or government mandates or the criticism of others. Jesus has set me free from fear. I’m a child of God living out eternal life in Christ. The joy of this Good News is my overwhelming motivation every day. And so, I act in CARE for others, sometimes even wearing a facemask if it means I can share Jesus with them.
I like how Martin Luther said it, “A Christian is a perfectly free Lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.” (AE V31 P344) In the freedom of Christ, I will gladly wear a facemask if it can lead one more soul to eternal life in Jesus.