Perhaps the next time someone asks us to put on a mask and our natural instinct is to get on our self-righteous soapbox about how we live by faith and not fear, we should reconsider two things: first, do our lives really reflect living without fear (and do we really want them to?), and second, is that actually how Jesus would respond?
The entire heart of Jesus’ message, as exemplified in the famous words about gaining the world and losing your very self, is that others are the priority. Always. That simply does not align – and in fact completely contradicts – the mission and message of American “Christianity” and its culture.
I’m thankful for opportunities to learn something new, even when the realization seems so obvious that I feel quite stupid. Far more important than my personal feelings is the chance to make a minor temporary change to how I go about my life so I can do my own little part to protect others. Because I believe that all life – any single life – is worth the minor discomfort of me wearing a mask to protect others when I’m in public.
Imagine for a moment that, instead of real life, this were a movie about a nation-wide and global pandemic bringing our lives to a screeching halt while threatening to kill millions if we don’t act responsibly. Hearing the president and some of his most influential supporters espouse an opinion that we need to sacrifice certain groups of people in order to boost the economy because “the cure can’t be worse than the disease,” we would react with horror at such a suggestion. We would unquestionably hope for the downfall of those leaders, seeing them for the selfish villains they truly are.