Masks- we all wear them. We all have them. We wake up each morning and choose what parts of ourselves we want the world to see. Some of us take out our makeup and paste on layers of foundation covering up the wrinkles, the acne, and the black and blue scars. Others of us put on our baggiest t shirts and jeans to try and hide ourselves from the judging eyes of others.
Church can often be the worst- we feel expected to always look perfect, right on point. We shake each other’s hands and say Happy Sabbath even though sometimes we feel nothing less than terrible and have had a rough week. We congratulate each other and say how pretty we all look and then we go home and take off our fancy outfits, look back into the mirror, and say well this is it. After singing up front praise songs to Jesus, leading out in Bible school, or even preaching the sermon when we are finally all by our self we wonder “Is this real. Am I who I say I am- a follower of Christ- or am I a fraud? And sometimes deep inside we desperately want someone to see us the way we truly are, to counsel us, or to help us- but we don’t feel that we know who to ask.
Masks come in different shapes, sizes, and layers but their function is always the same- protection. Protection from other people’s mean words, protection from our own insecurities, and protection from judgement.Often we fear what others would think about us- if they really knew the truth.
What are we hiding? Our lonely hearts and wounds- but what we often forget is Jesus Christ wants to take our biggest scars and make them a testimony of His love and grace.
Jesus calls us to open up to others and to unveil our masks in order to share the good news of Christ's love in a genuine way. It's no surprise your not perfect. The Bible says that "All have sinned and fall short of the glory God" (Romans 3:23). There are two major problems with wearing our masks all the time.
The first is When we wear our own mask we become blinded to the true faces of others. When we are wearing masks, people treat us differently. While we may try to be true witnesses of Christ with our masks on, it will be more difficult for others to be real with us and let us help them. How can we expect someone weaker in their faith than us to have the courage to take off their mask when we have not yet revealed ours? Taking off our masks is a humbling experience that is absolutely necessary to serve someone else like Jesus.
The second is When we wear our own mask, we make good works look like they are from us instead of giving God the glory and the honor. This is dangerous to do because quickly we may become confident and prideful. If we had unveiled our masks and shown our weaknesses, the world could see that truly everything good is not from our strength but by Christ's trans-formative power alone.
So how do we unveil the masks? Do we simply stand in front of the church saying I am a fraud and telling the entire congregation every sin we have ever committed? Personally, I don't think this is the best method. We must ask Christ to give us courage to unveil our masks and we must pray that it may be done for His honor and glory. As we ask God to take away our pride and make us more fully His, as we develop friends that challenge our walk in the faith, and as we continually commit time to Christ in prayer and scriptural study we will find that we no longer want to wear so much paint on our face. Little by little, with God's help, our masks will be scrubbed away so that we can be more authentic demonstrators of God's grace.