I traveled today from Greensboro, North Carolina to Dallas to Colorado Springs via American Airlines. Awaiting my luggage post flight, I could not help but notice all the face masks, mandatory in Colorado, being worn beneath the nose. Now I was a science major, so what is obvious to me might not be quite so obvious to others who are not biologically informed. Just last week my daughter entertained me with a mock article headline, “Below-the-Nose Community Stunned as Study Shows Nose Connected to Lungs” giving us both a great laugh. But I do want to believe people wear their mask under their noses out of ignorance.
However, the practice of not covering one’s nose is probably more of a performative action, going through the motions of wearing a mask without any true connection to the purpose or goal for doing so. And then there is malicious compliance with some wearing blingy lace masks, abiding by the letter of the law to wear a mask, while ensuring it is completely useless, albeit showy.
Holy Spirit has a way of speaking into a moment in ways I do not forget, drawing instructive parallels.
Feigned obedience. I was seeing a combination of ignorance and feigned obedience.
Ignorance and feigned obedience, with a heart far from God. Compliance without heart engagement. Christianity is not about rules and compliance. As a matter of fact, the Bible says we can even be martyred and if we did it without the motivation of love, it was pointless! And if we speak outside of the context of love, it is nothing more than clanging cymbals. (1 Corinthians 13: 1-3) Christianity is about union with God, connection, an experiential relationship with our passionate good God Who loved us first, before we even glanced His way.
Think about that this election season. You may be “right” in your sentiments, but if the proclamation of your “truth” is done in a spirit of “rightness” rather than in a spirit of love, you, my friend are not operating from a true knowledge of God. To know Him is to love Him. (1 John 4:7-8) And if we say we love Him and do not or cannot love another, we are not being honest and the Truth is not even in us. (1 John 4:20) Everything must be rooted and grounded in love. (Ephesians 3:17)
And that is the Truth.