With Trick or Treat Night recently passed, I bet you can remember some of your favorite costumes the kids came up with this year. One little three-year-old girl dressed up as a “Minion” because her favorite movie of all time is “Despicable Me” and the Minions in that movie are a big deal to her. Of course, she was a cutie!!!
Years ago when our kids were out and about, we’d greet the neighborhood children by saying, “Well, who is that all dressed up? That is such a good costume, I can’t guess who it might be!” That always got a giggle or laugh, because the Trick or Treaters wanted you to be totally fooled over which neighborhood child it was.
Those costumes and masks create one kind of “cover-up” that we can all relate to: not being who you really are.
Many of us put on a “Christian face mask” every Sunday, and pretend to be someone other than who we are inside. That mask can be in place because we hurt too much inside to reveal ourselves or because we think we need to fool others into believing we are not struggling with life’s issues. Or maybe because we never learned how to deal with the weight of our sin, or learned how to be free through God’s Grace.
Whatever the reason is for having a mask in place, it can’t be fun on the inside. Keeping a mask from slipping is hard work. Those little kids who came to your door last week probably had trouble seeing through the mask to even reach in the candy bowl. And if they were smart, they tipped up the mask before they walked down your sidewalk near the street so they could actually be safe and know where there feet were going.
If you think God doesn’t know you have a mask on, you’d be wrong. And you may even know God knows, but you don’t know how to take off that costume of Christianity to let others know the real you. Heartbreak leads to headaches. Pain on the inside leads to crippled spirits and damaged souls. It isn’t worth keeping the mask on, either physically or emotionally.
Feeling trapped in a costume can be scary. The first step in getting out of it is finding a way to untie, unzip or unbutton. If it were me, I’d grab a Bible and some time alone with God. Then I’d find a confidant…either a pastor or prayer pal, or just a BFF. You will need someone who will help get you out of the mask and into a relationship with others who’ve dared to reveal themselves the way they really are. You’d be surprised that all of us Christians had to do that at one point or another to grow in the Grace and Truth of Christ. We’ve all struggled with who we really are on the inside and making that match up with how we appear to others.
Find a safe place and a safe friend and learn for yourself how much God truly loves you. God never changes, never has a mask of pretension, or acts holier-than-thou (even though He is). God accepts all of us just as we are because He created us….He made us with all our weaknesses, strengths, gifts and failings. And He knows we are human and sinners. He already knows who you are under that mask! And He loves you!
by Cindy Best