Wednesday, June 9, 2010


We live in a world so full of facades and masks. Certainly in my lifetime I have worn a mask or two, or three or four (lol), afraid to reveal the deepest hurts of my own heart. But as I've grown older and have developed a deeper love for the Lord and His Word (The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us - John 1) I have dropped the masks and have found such freedom in living life with a realness I had never experienced as a young person. Most of my masks were the types of which I was afraid of what other people would think of me if they really knew the softness that was inside, the girl who would buckle under the least of pressure, and who was deeply afraid of being rejected. Not necessarily rejected by a certain person or group, but a rejection of who I really was. I'm dramatic, I'm goofy, I'm hypersensitive, I'm very particular, sort of black and white - no grey. I always had a very deep sense of confidence in the person I was but recognized very quickly that other people did not necessarily accept those things in me and would make comments or tease - "Oh, you're just dramatic," Oh, you're just a control freak," stuff like that.

Whenever we are in the company of people who we can sense do not like us, whether the dislike is rooted in jealousy or ego, it is very easy to put on a mask, not be yourself. But this is the sort of dislike that has started to eat at me over the years. I have been moved to almost a state of hurt over the fact that people in general are very quick to find all of the faults in others yet maintain a level of pride that allows them to think, "not I". Some are able to move so boldly into a position of "advice giver" without even the slightest hint that it is their own life that needs to become transparent in order to start seeing lasting relationships develop. These are all masks. Because when we all take down the mask we quickly see how we're all really very similar. We all struggle with identity, we all ask the question at some point in our lives, "Who Am I?" We all wonder if anyone really cares about us - Facebook is a perfect example of this - we all have things we need to overcome.

I had a revelation the other day about those obstacles we need to overcome but try to hide from everyone: As long as we hide them we will never overcome them. James 5:16 says, " Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed." If we can not come to a place where we admit to ourselves and to others that we are living behind a mask it is likely we will live our entire lives in hiding, in bondage to those things which we want so badly to be set free from. I guess it is possible that there are those people out there who do not see their own mask and have lived so long with it that it has grown permanently onto their face, but even those people are recognized by those who know them best. When we know that what is in our hearts does not line up with how we act that is when the mask is worn. God does not desire that we live "fake" lives. We're not called to fit into a mold. He did not create us to be like anyone else in the world. He calls us to be who we are and to imitate His character. We're called to love one another. We're called to lay down the pretense. We're called to the nations to be a light to those hurting - maybe that's what the childhood song, "This Little Light of Mine," means by, hide it under a bushel, NO...I'm gonna let it shine. How can your light shine if you are always hiding under the guise of someone you are not - wearing that mask again. It is possible to touch the lives of some around you in those moments where the "realness" comes through but those are only temporary moments of freedom. Wouldn't it be much more exhilarating to live every moment of every day in the freedom knowing that there is not a stone left unturned in your life where you haven't been real. That the people in your life know that you are who you say you are, no matter what? That there is nothing to hide any more, that the love of God is so engrained in your heart and mind that there is nothing to be ashamed of? Yes, there will always be people who do not approve or understand but even Jesus walked the earth as a person who was misunderstood and not all that attractive - but usually to those who were still wearing the masks, the Pharisees and teachers of the Law. My desire is to be real. A friend of mine recently wrote to me and said that I had hurt her several years ago and for some time now she has been dealing with some anger towards me. At first I didn't know what to think, should I be hurt, should I be offended? But then I realized that God was impressing on her heart to be real with me and to uncover herself. That was beautiful and in that moment I was so thankful that she was able to be real, taking her one step closer to the freedom her Savior desired for her. If I would have been offended or allowed myself to be hurt by her honesty I would have hampered the work God was doing in her life. Oh but for his grace....

So, how do I end this? Ahh, perfect...a little tough but so good - "Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you'll get the wind knocked out of you. BUT IF YOU ARE CONTENT TO SIMPLY BE YOURSELF, your life will count for plenty." Matthew 23:11-12 (The Message)

Life can not count for much if people don't know the real you. Stop hiding and just start being - REAL!

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