The Masks We Wear: A Journey to Authenticity
When I was I little girl, my favorite holiday was Christmas, of course. But my next favorite holiday was Halloween.
The candy and other treats were awesome, going trick-or-treating with my siblings and friends was fun, but there was something else about Halloween that intrigued me. It was the masks that we we wore.
The first Halloween costume that I remember was a nurse's uniform. I wanted to be a nurse like my Aunt Rose, so my parents bought me this costume. I remember it vividly. It was a white smock with this heavy, thick mask.
Boy, was that mask uncomfortable! It was hot, it made me sweat, and the elastic that kept it in place was tight. Yet, I LOVED wearing it.
Even at a young age, I realized that if I wore this mask, I could pretend to be anything that I desired to be.
Life went on, situations happened, tragedies occurred. One thing remained constant...I continued to love to wear masks.
But these masks were different.
These were the kinds of masks that were intended to hide the ugly parts of my character. You know, the things I didn't want anyone to see or to know about.
Little did I know, these masks were ineffective. And although I enjoyed wearing them, they were bringing harm to me.
I continued to wear them.
But one day, I decided that these masks were not for me. I decided that I didn’t want to just hide the ugly parts of my character, but I wanted those ugly parts healed and removed.
We wear masks for different reasons. Lots of times, masks of bitterness, resentment, jealousy, anger, and callousness are worn as a means of protection from being hurt. They allow you to be withdrawn, when all you really want is to be accepted.
Masks of gossiping are often worn to shed light on someone else's shortcomings or unfortunate situations, in an effort to hide or minimize our own.
Masks of pride are often worn to make others think that we have it all together. These masks are often coupled with masks of being overly critical. These masks are often worn as a means to hide the fact that deep down inside, we are a miserable mess, unhappy with who we really are at our core, and in desperate need of a Savior to rescue us.
Masks of hypocrisy are often worn to make others believe that we think or feel a certain way about a topic or person..when in essence, it is the exact opposite. These are worn so that we can be accepted. So we can be loved. So no one will think ill of us. At the end of the day, it just causes more rejection. No matter how opaque we think these masks are..people can usually see right through them. And the one who matters most, our Father, cannot be fooled.
Masks of various addictions are often worn to cover up pain and some deep wounds that only Jesus can heal and rescue us from. In the end, these addictions just cause us more pain and deeper wounds.
The masks we wear hinder our relationships with the ones that we love the most.
The masks we wear rob the world of seeing the real, authentic, essence of who we are, and who He has created us to be.
Most importantly, the masks we wear hinder our relationship with God.
Jesus wants us to take off the masks.
He desires truth in the inward parts (Psalm 51:6)
Once we remove the masks we wear, Jesus can go in and heal us from all of the ugliness that we are trying so desperately to hide from others, from ourselves, and ultimately from God.
Yes, God already knows. But He wants you to uncover it and give it to Him to heal.
He knows…..And He STILL loves us.
He wants to use us for His glory. He wants us to be effective instruments in our homes, at our jobs, and in our communities.
The world needs all of the beauty that is behind the masks, all of the wonderful gifts and talents that are buried beneath the scars.
It is ok. You can take them off. Jesus needs you to take them off.
We need you to take them off.
Your family, your coworkers, and your community need you to take them off.
YOU need YOU to take them off.
Underneath it all is the true, authentic, uniquely beautiful you that the world needs.
The masks we wear don’t serve us. They don’t help us or those around us.
The masks we wear are uncomfortable and exhausting. It is not easy to carry all of that dead weight. It is exhausting to operate under pretenses.
Until there is true transformation from the inside out, we will always be under the guise of a mask.
Take the masks off, whether it’s one or many. Carry them to Jesus and lay them at His feet in prayer. Ask Him to heal everything that was beneath.
Walk in the freedom and liberty of being all that He created you to be. Rise!!!! Shine!!!!! And Shine Brightly!!!!!!!!
We need you. The true you. The beautiful you.