Monday, October 31, 2011

There are many masks we wear to protect ourselves

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; Galatians 2:20a
When I was a child I loved to dress up.  I would put on grown up clothes and shoes and dance around like I was Cinderella at the ball.  How fun it was to pretend that I was already a grown woman living my own life.  Now I am a grown woman living my own life and I find that at times I am still trying to pretend that I am someone else.

Isn’t that the way we all are to some degree?  All grown up, we are still “dressing up”, wearing masks and acting our parts often masking who we really are.

There are many masks we wear to protect ourselves:
We wear masks with our friends.  We pretend to be problem free, even around our closest friends.  We put on masks with our friends because we are afraid that if they knew how we really are they would not want to be our friend.

We wear masks at church. We argue all the way to Sunday service and paint on a smile on our way in.  We pretend to be more spiritual, more put together, more mature in our faith than we really are.  We fear that if anyone knew the real us, they would think less of us…so we mask our brokenness.  We hide weakness and sin because we fear condemnation.  We don’t ask for prayer because we are embarrassed by family problems or financial or health issues.  Yet, if we could make ourselves a bit more vulnerable, we would see that others are struggling with some of the same things we are.  We cheat ourselves because we don’t allow ourselves to be ministered to by others who care.

We wear masks at home. We pretend things are okay in our marriage when there is distance.  We say nothing is wrong when our feelings are truly hurt.  We don’t necessarily lie to our spouse; we just shade part of the truth.  We don’t feel comfortable being our true self with our spouse because we are afraid of judgment or ridicule.  We feel there is nowhere we are truly free to unmask ourselves and be who we really are; nowhere do we feel truly safe.

Masks are all over our lives:
  • We mask the debt we have amassed to pay for a lifestyle we can’t afford. 
  • We mask our insecurities.
  • We mask our sin and weakness.
  • We mask our family problems because we are embarrassed.
The sad thing about wearing masks is that we cannot move closer to who God created us to be with our masks on.  Masks always make shallow what God has intended to be deep; friendships, marriages, families and churches. Everything in our lives gets cheated when we choose to be fake.

It takes courage to live with no masks; to be vulnerable, broken, to ask for help, to be real.  How would your friendships be different?  How would your marriage be different?  How would your relationship with God be different?

Be courageous.  Remove the masks today and allow yourself to be accepted.  You may well discover the mercy, compassion, and understanding of others we all desperately need.

Scripture to Claim:
Grace (favor and spiritual blessing) be to you and [heart] peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1

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