“I just wish you trusted God more.”
As a pastor few lines rile me more than suggesting I don’t trust God.
I can’t remember hearing this line before the pandemic, but over the past few months I have heard it multiple times. The most recent was from someone who wanted to rent our fellowship hall (not someone connected to the church — just seeking space for a party). Of course, with Covid, we aren’t hosting even church events. The only activity inside the building is Sunday worship and that occurs with masks, blocked pew rows, and a streamed service so folks can choose to stay home.
But hearing our Covid policy, he went into a rant about political propaganda and falsified death certificates. I kept it all in check, wishing I wasn’t the only person in the church office these days … until he brought up trusting in God.
“I don’t think the issue is trust, so much, as loving our neighbor. The few sacrifices we are asked to make are not so large — wearing masks, social distancing, hosting a party outside. These are freedoms easily sacrificed to help our neighbor.”
He responded, “Don’t you think people should take care of themselves?”
And here it is – a deep problem in our country. The idea that each person can and should take care of themselves is a lie. What I do affects you. What you do affects me. And in turn others are affected. Like ripples in a pond, our good and evil spread out impacting those around us. We are literally “All in this Together.”
To bring healing requires that we work together.
God understands this truth. God did not toss down a list and say good luck… No, salvation meant that God came down. To sacrifice for those who could not save themselves. And we are called to do the same. To follow this path is what it means to trust God.
Don’t You Trust God?! — There is faulty logic behind the idea that we should trust God rather than wear masks or social distance. With that logic why ever visit a doctor — don’t you trust God to keep you well? With that logic why have a savings account or retirement fund — don’t you trust God to provide for your future? With that logic why have locks on your doors…
But in Truth we know that God brings us knowledge to help us make the best decisions. So I visit the doctor, because God uses modern medicine to help people!
The Covid subject is even more important. Because we have learned that masks don’t just help us (in fact, they may barely protect us), but they do help our neighbor. We know that God has not outlawed wearing masks, but He has COMMANDED that we love our neighbor!
All of sudden masks have become a spiritual imperative. Wearing a mask demonstrates trust in God! It is not comfortable. It is not for yourself. But it fulfills the second greatest commandment! (And by doing that we also fulfill the greatest commandment… “All the law and prophets hang on these two,” Matt 22:40.)