This is seventh in my series of other “coronavirus tests” – for Christians. I’d intended to blog a “test” a day. I missed out a couple days but here’s the next one:
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
II Corinthians 8
21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
This seventh test comes because the highly contagious nature of coronavirus means people are, more than ever, aware of the behaviour of others.
Though the second passage is focused on handling financial matters properly, the principle is stated generally in Romans, and applies to making sure that our behaviour is not only appropriate, but visibly so. We should not engage in actions which give the appearance that we are doing wrong.
It doesn’t matter if you are sure you have not been exposed to the virus, or if you are sure that what you are doing poses no risk to anyone. We still need to do all we can to avoid any actions, risky or not, that can appear to others to be risky.
There certainly are people who take unnecessary risks, and do things that spread disease. In doing so, they may be responsible for severe illness and even the death of others. We as Christians should not be doing things that give the perception that we are among those, that we are behaving in such a way, whether we are sure that what we are doing is safe or not.
It is obvious that it is not loving our neighbours, whether near or far, to spread a disease. But it is also not loving them to put them in fear that we are spreading it, even if we know we are not. That is especially true when we realise that many around us have a fear of death that Christians don’t need to have.
If we are doing that, we are failing in the second great commandment, and thus also in this test. We are displeasing our Lord, and if those who see us behaving in an apparently-risky way know that we are Christians, we may even be tempting them to blaspheme Him.
Let’s not fail this test. Be careful that your behaviour is not only appropriate in God’s eyes but also in the eyes of those around us.