Last night I had a conversation with my husband. You see, our church is opening back up on Sunday with a long list of state-imposed rules.
We have never been mask wearers, nor do we believe we should be forced to wear masks by anyone. We believe there are all sorts of reasons, psychological and health-wise, not to wear a mask. However, our pastor has indicated that even if we are not afraid, he recommends we wear a mask for others, especially when we sing. It is not mandatory, but it is recommended.
So back to the conversation I had with my husband last night. I told him that I was really nervous about going to church.
“Nervous about what?” he said.
“Confrontation.” I replied.
“What are you going to be confronted about?” he queried.
“Not wanting to wear a mask and being told it is because I am not being kind” was my reply.
Our conversation moved to other things. Fast forward to this morning. My husband opens the day as follows:
“Do you know how I know that Satan is involved in all of this?”
“How?” I responded.
“You are nervous about going to church because everyone is so divided. Why should you be nervous at all about going to church?” he responded. “The devil is involved.”
So this got me to thinking back to the days when I was actively counseling clients. So many times, I would have clients that came into my office feeling extreme guilt over things that were not sinful. This guilt would keep them from doing all good things including reaching out to God, being around people, and going to church. I would have to explain to them the difference between true guilt and false guilt.
This circumstance is no different.
You see, true guilt is when you stand before a holy God sinful because you have broken one of His Commandments. We are all truly guilty before God because of our sin.
False guilt is when people tell you that you should feel guilty about something because of what they believe or think.
True guilt brings you to repentance and a restored relationship with God.
False guilt keeps you from God because it comes from emotional manipulation and not truth. It keeps you from people because there is a part of you that almost believes the manipulation. This is by design.
Ephesians 6:10-20 (English Standard Version) states, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”
It is not wrong for me to not want to wear a mask anymore than it is wrong for you to want to wear a mask. It is a matter of conviction not a matter of sin.
I am going to church today, and Satan is not going to separate me from other believers with emotional manipulation.
The battle belongs to the Lord!