This world is a place where it seems a chosen few, an elite force, decide a lot of things; who is pretty or ugly, successful or a failure, popular or excluded, valuable or worthless. It is frightening to be exposed to be your naked self in this world.
So to protect ourselves we put on masks. A mask is something worn to conceal or disguise one’s real identity, personality or character. A mask can also be something that covers up our intentions or something we have done. We put masks on to hide things about ourselves from others.
We hide silly things; we read romance novels, we paint our toenails blue, we sometimes have dessert for supper, we have not moved or dusted behind the dresser in years…
We hide hard or sad things; our marriage is falling apart, we do not have money to pay the rent, our child is on drugs, we are depressed…
We hide what embarrasses us; where we come from or what we have done in the past, Daddy was an alcoholic, have an addiction, have been arrested, we have doubts about our faith…
Our masks are in place because we are trying to be what we think others want or expect from us. We want to be accepted and to belong.
We hide our thoughts and beliefs–things most important to who we are. We are afraid to defend our thoughts and beliefs because we do not want to be misunderstood or to be outside of what is currently popular in the culture of the times.
We hide our personalities in a box. Sometimes a pretty box but more often in a plain brown box. We try to be like everyone else so we will fit in.
Instead of being someone of strong character, like actors we become a character playing someone else, an illusion. We weaken our character by following the crowd and trying to fit in.
I would like to say I never wear a mask. But the truth is I often do and it is rarely, if ever, comfortable. There a few people with whom I am truly myself. And with all my faults and failings unmasked and right out there for them to see they love me–even like me. They see me for who I am and they are encouraging and helping me become who I am meant to be. I am blessed.
My prayer is that we all will be brave and strong and stop hiding. That we come to know that who we are is more than just OK. We have been created for a purpose, to be who we are and where we are, by our loving Father and sovereign God.
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to it’s level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:2 The Message Bible
I wonder why I sometimes think the woman I really am is not good enough and I must hide her and be like everyone else?
I wonder what awesome things we would see and do if the masks came off and we just let God bring the best out of us.