Q. As a follower of Jesus, I have faith that the coronavirus won’t harm me. Why should I let others tell me how to live my life?

A. I understand where you’re coming from. After all, we are not to live in fear, especially since our days are numbered by God. I am grateful for the faith that you have. At the same time, we are living through a pandemic that has already claimed millions of lives across the world, and the number is climbing daily.

It has gotten so bad that my father’s disaster relief organisation, Samaritan’s Purse — which has in the past facilitated emergency medical support in response to the Ebola pandemic, as well as a field hospital near the front lines of the ISIS conflict in the Middle East — has set up mobile hospitals in Italy and in New York City to treat coronavirus patients. This is reality.

Two things: First, I remind you that we’re commanded to submit to those in authority over us. Romans 13:1-2 says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” In this case, in particular, they are looking at data and information that we don’t have, and it’s wise counsel to pay attention to their guidance.

Second, I would strongly encourage you to search your heart and consider if you are mistaking faith for pride. I’m not sure that the “Nobody is going to tell me what to do” mentality is from God. Rather, the Bible has dozens of passages — especially in Proverbs — about the importance of wisdom. For instance, “The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin” (Proverbs 10:8, ESV). Or, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2, ESV).

Be smart and be safe, understanding that by wilfully disobeying guidelines, you may get sick, and you may also — in turn — pass it along to others. Rather than doing that, I would encourage you to use your time to honour and glorify God, building your relationship with Him.

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