Do you remember when you were a child and you played dress-up? I loved digging in the chest of clothes and masks my mom had accumulated for us kids. To me, it was just as grand as Mr. Dressup’s tickle trunk! I could change who I was with each different mask or costume. One moment, I was a princess locked in a tall tower; another, I was a fearsome pirate sailing the seas; another, I became a nurse readily dispensing needles and bandages to all willing or non-willing. I loved the things in my “tinkle trunk,” but my least favourite were the masks. I never enjoyed wearing them. They made me hot and made it hard to breathe.
What is a mask?
Webster defines a mask as a covering for all or part of the face, worn to conceal one’s identity.
As a child, I never liked to wear masks, but as a grown up woman, I have come to wear them all the time! And, I’m probably not alone with my mask- wearing “issues.”
We all wear them.
We even have more than one.
We have one for every occasion.
“Oh, it’s Sunday. I must get out my ‘Super Spiritual Susie’ mask.”
“It’s Concert of Prayer night. I need my ‘Perfect Prayer Patty’ mask.”
“It’s PTA meeting night at my child’s school. I need my ‘Perfect, Right-on-top-of-it- Parent’ mask.”
“Oh, another opportunity to volunteer, so, I better get out my ‘I Can Do It All and Keep It All Together’ mask!”
Then, we have the “Perfect, Never Lose Your Temper Mother/Father” mask, the “Patient, Devoted Son/Daughter” mask, and the “Encouraging, Never-Want-to-Run-Your-Spouse-Over with the Car” mask.
I think you get the idea.
We may have tried to take off our masks, but when people reject the real YOU we tend to prefer to hide behind the illusion. Most of us have become so comfortable with switching our masks various times during the day that we no longer even realize we are doing it! The reality is, for some, we have long ago lost sight of who we really are.
Our mask-switching skills also carry over into our relationship with God. We try to be and do the things we think can earn His love and favour. Then, when God tries to unmask us (and He will!), we fight Him! We really do not want to see our true selves! Why? We have become too comfortable with our masks.
“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.” Psalm 139:1
“O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts…” Psalm 7:9
God, however, sees us for who we really are. He gently prods and encourages us until we take the masks off. He cannot show Himself real to others through us until we become real with Him!
Is it easy to take off our masks?
Some of us do not like who we are. We have a checkered past, to say the least.
What would others think if they really knew who we were? How can God use someone so tarnished and flawed?
It is the question of the ages.
Nevertheless, God’s Word is full of examples of the most unlikely and unlovely being used by Him in amazing ways. If He could use a harlot, a tax collector, a murderer, and a motley crew of fishermen, He can use YOU!
God does not call perfect people! That is a lie whispered to us by the enemy. We think we need to be all cleaned up and looking good for God to use us. God says, “No, just come to me willing and I will clean you up. I will do the doing!”
“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6
Does that mean I will never fail or make a mistake?
No, it just means that He can even take my mess-ups and use them for good!
“And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Rom 8:28
I need to be God’s warrior every day, every minute and every second – weaknesses, failings, warts and all – with the masks removed. God will do the rest!
Although it is always uncomfortable removing masks, once they’re gone, I realize that I can do something I haven’t done in awhile… breathe!
Is it time for you to breathe again? Take off your masks!